Shaun Naidoo


Shaun Naidoo (b. 30 June 1962, South Africa, d. 18 May 2012, CA, United States) was a South African composer. Naidoo obtained a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, a Masters degree in Composition from USC and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory and Piano Performance from Rhodes University in South Africa.

His music has been performed at festivals and halls throughout the United States, Europe and South Africa, including performances at the Lincoln Theater (Miami Beach, Florida), Japan America Theater (Los Angeles), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Maybeck Recital Hall (San Francisco), PianoSpheres (Pasadena, California), Ernest Bloch Music Festival (Oregon), Edinburgh Festival, Zabalaza Festival (London), Colly Soleri Music Center (Arcosanti, Arizona), SEAMUS festival (Kansas City, Missouri), Kansas City Electronic Music Festival, SCREAM festival (Los Angeles), Ussachevsky Festival (Claremont, California), Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa), Jazzart Center (Cape Town, South Africa), South African National Festival of the Arts, Resistance Fluctuations Festival (Los Angeles), Green Umbrella Series (Los Angeles) and the FaultLines Emergency Festival (Los Angeles). Ensembles who have performed his music include the California EAR Unit, the New World Symphony, Xtet, Ensemble Green, FearNoMusic, the Thornton Percussion Ensemble, and the CalArts Percussion Ensemble.

His music has been released by Island Records (New York), C.R.I. (New York), Shifty Records (South Africa) and Evander Music (Oaland, CA). During the 1980s, Naidoo composed extensively for cabaret, musical theater and modern dance in South Africa where he was commissioned by the major modern dance companies and his music received critical acclaim.

In 1989 the Johannesburg Star described him as “South Africa’s premiere composer for modern dance” and in 1990 the Johannesburg Citizen called him “one of the brightest lights in the South African music firmanent”. More recently the “Los Angeles Weekly” described his music as “a hoot and a delight” and added that he is a composer “worth watching”. In 1992 his electronic Found Opera Season of Violence (a collaboration with Warrick Swinney) received an Honorable Mention at the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. He is a recipipent of a Fulbright Fellowship, an Italian Government Scholarship, the Halsey Stevens Composition Prize, the Peter David Faith Award in Composition, grants from Meet the Composer, and numerous academic honors and awards.

He taught for six years in the Departments of Theory and Composition, and ElectroAcoustic Media at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. In 1997 he co-founded the FaultLines Contemporary Music Series (Los Angeles), which has to-date presented twenty-eight composers, performers, and performance artists from throughout the United States.