My name is Ralston van der Schyff. I am a South African pianist, composer and songwriter. For me, a musical performance needs to be emboldened with a rich sound, sometimes with unconventional harmony and subtle nuances of melodies and patterns. There needs to be a message; a message in the form of an inspiring musical journey. What I play depends entirely on what I'm feeling at that exact moment.
Duke's Jazz Bar
Jazz pianist and entertainer Ralston van der Schyff is a music genius and is now with us at Duke's.
Ralston van der Schyff se klavierspel in 'Swart Koffee' is onverbeterlik.
Marlize van Taak
Van der Schyff se vingers wat rats oor die klawers hop - dit is die hart van swing.
Ralston is a highly talented pianist and arranger with whom I've had the pleasure of working on a number of occasions.
The trio of musicians, led by Ralston van der Schyff on piano, are a revelation together. They handle all the songs, not only with panache but with an unselfconscious flair that provides the backbone to the evening. Grandstanding entertainment.
Actor, Vocalist & Director
Ralston is a consummate performer and musician. I had the pleasure of working with him on quite a few productions as a Performer and Director. He is a talented and professional artist who always puts his heart and soul into everything he does.
Cape Argus Tonight
Then with the help of keyboardist extraordinaire Ralston van der Schyff, goes on to prove it with 'Song Sung Blue', melding into 'Sweet Caroline' - much to the delight of the audience who sang along lustily on opening night - The aforementioned Van der Schyff is a highlight with the way he lovingly caresses those romantic notes out of the keys.
His skills are wide ranging, not only a great piano player but a well accomplished crooner in the Jazz and Blues styles of music. As an individual he is a true professional and will endeavour to work with you to make sure that the music and quality that is delivered is second to none. His time keeping and his presentation is outstanding with no problems just total reliability. Ralston is definitely an artist I would love to work with again.
Promoter, Producer & Voice Artist
Charl van Heyningen
Ralston has worked with me as musical director and accompanist on various projects since 2003 and I can wholeheartedly recommend him for any production. He is a consummate accompanist that effortlessly switches between musical genres, albeit jazz (virtuoso performer), classical, opera or rock. His easygoing, laid back attitude, punctuality and friendly disposition makes him a pleasure to work with. Ralston cares about his work, is a perfectionist and an asset to any production.
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.
I compose, record and produce my own music in various genres including jazz, classical, pop, contemporary, gospel and of course, South African music.
- Jazz Works
- World Works
- Gospel Works
- Christmas Works