Bongani Ndodana-Breen is a South African-born composer, musician and cultural activist. He was born in 1975 in Queenstown, South Africa and is a member of the Xhosa clan. He is often referred to by his Xhosa paternal ancestral name or isiduko, Rhadebe. He was educated at St. Andrew's College and Rhodes University in Grahamstown and studied composition in Stellenbosch under Roelof Temmingh.In 1998 Ndodana-Breen was the first Black classical composer to be awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music, by the National Arts Festival and sponsored by Standard Bank of South Africa.His music is a blend of African and classical styles. Some of his music reflects on various scenes from his native Xhosa culture (such as Hintsa's Dances, which is based on the life of Paramount Chief Hintsa ka Khawuta, Apologia at Umzimvubu and Sons of The Great Tree).He has received commissions from across the globe from the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra the Miller Theatre of New York, Vancouver Recital Society, Madame Walker Theatre, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Noir/MusicaNoir, Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), National Arts Council, Haydn Festival Eisenstadt, Johannesburg International Mozart Festival, The Emancipation Festival of Trinidad & Tobago and Wigmore Hall, London.He has written operas, orchestral and chamber works, including the opera Winnie The Opera based on anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. South Africa's liberation struggle seems to be a major theme in his orchestral works such as his piano concerto Mzilikazi: Emhlabeni, the short opera Hani on the anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani and more recently the oratorio Credo, a musical testament to the Freedom Charter.Ndodana-Breen is also an advocate for cultural diversity, various African efforts including gay and lesbian rights.