Ralston van der Schyff

I'm a


My name is Ralston van der Schyff. I am a South African pianist, composer and songwriter. My reputation for sophistication and uniqueness has been echoed by many audiences who have seen and heard me perform live. My style of playing produces just the right sound that is easy on the ear, a sound emboldened with rich, sometimes unconventional harmony, and subtle nuances of melodies and patterns, transforming each song into an inspiring musical journey.



I first took piano lessons from my father at age around 7. I fondly remember those "John Thompson" lesson books. At age 10, I went on to pursue formal classical training at the Battswood College of Music in 1986 through till 1994 with music teacher, Cheryl Wesso; I am so grateful and blessed to have had her teach me. During those 8 years I also enrolled in the Royal Schools of Music examinations through till grade 8, obtaining distinctions in my practical examinations.

In 1995, I started jazz studies with George Werner at the Jazz Workshop, after which I then pursued a business degree. In 2001, I resumed my jazz studies at the Jazz Workshop with legendary jazz pianist and teacher Mertyn Barrow. It was during this same year that my musical career began to take shape and take off.


Theatrical productions for Cabaret, Jazz Cabaret, Classical and Rock.


Showcases, festivals and special events performed locally and internationally.


Concerts for solo piano performances internationally.


Various ensembles that I've been a part of locally and internationally.


Various venues performed at locally and internationally.


I compose, record and produce my own music in various genres including jazz, classical, pop, contemporary, gospel and of course, South African musical infusions.


Genre: Latin Jazz
Released: 2021
Listening Time: 5:08 Minutes

Jonny's Braai Stomp

This song is about having a braai (BBQ for non-South Africans) at my cousin Jonny's place. It is always a non-alcoholic fun time with family, close friends and lekka snoek, chicken lamb chops and boerewors, which includes entrees nogal, of potato chips, sweets and savoury tarts. Dessert is ice-cream, milk tart, chocolate cake and more sweets, and it isn't even Sunday yet.


Genre: Christmas
Released: 2015
Listening Time: 2:30 Minutes

Rudolph Is Uit Asem

A comical Christmas piece depicting Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, being slave-driven by Santa Claus. It's a Cape Town flavored carol with lyrics and comical quips both in English and Afrikaans, sung by a choir.


Genre: Christmas
Released: 2012
Listening Time: 3 Minutes

A Cape Christmas Carol

A fusion of goema, country and comedy. The choir harmony is a typical sound characteristic of the minstrels of Cape Town.


Genre: Jazz
Released: 2012
Listening Time: 15 Minutes

Red Lanterns

A short story of life and lifestyle in China. My second home, Shanghai boasts so much history, mystery and feelings of enchantment.


A collection of live audio performances and radio interviews.


Genre: Classical Jazz
Released: 2019
Listening Time: 3:44 Hours

Broadway Buskers Podcast

Improvised Piano Performances, based on a selection of Evergreen Hits, Broadway Classics and Golden Jazz Standards. Recorded live & unedited.


Genre: Speech
Released: 2017
Listening Time: 73 Minutes

The Interviews

Interview with host Richard Griggs at the Zone Radio Studio in Cape Town, South Africa.