Inaugural lecture delivered on 10 May 2016, Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Stephanus Muller received his undergraduate musical training at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. In 1993 he changed the focus of his music studies from piano performance to musicology, and he holds master’s degrees in musicology from the University of South Africa and Oxford University. In 2001 he was awarded a DPhil from Oxford University before returning to South Africa in the same year. Elected as the chairperson of the Musicological Society of Southern Africa in 2004, he was instrumental in merging this society with the Ethnomusicology Symposium in 2006. After his appointment as lecturer at Stellenbosch University in 2005, he created the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS) as a research and music heritage conservation initiative. Since then, DOMUS has acquired some of the most important and valuable archives of individuals and institutions pertaining to South African music, making it a unique repository of recorded music, scores and archival documents on the African continent. Since his appointment at Stellenbosch University, Muller has supervised groundbreaking studies by a new generation of South African music scholars, many of whom have gone on to study at prestigious universities abroad or to occupy teaching positions at South African universities. He is currently the Director designate of the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Africa Open – Institute for Music, Research and Innovation, an ambitious institutional initiative that responds to the challenges and opportunities of music studies in South Africa. Muller is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, and his book on the composer Arnold van Wyk, 'Nagmusiek', was awarded a number of prestigious literary prizes for both fiction and nonfiction.