And then there were four. After a gruelling piano battle in the semi-finals, two Western Art Music candidates and two Jazz musicians have made it through to Saturday’s final round of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships for keyboard players.

On Thursday, the M1 Studio at the SABC in Auckland Park was abuzz with nerves and excitement as 12 young pianists – six in each genre – competed for a place in the finals, to be held at the same venue at 6.30pm on Saturday, 31 August 2013.

The two finalists in the Western Art Music category who will be going head to head in a bid to dazzle the judges on Saturday are Jan Hugo (22), originally from Bloemfontein and currently based in Italy, and Megan-Geoffrey Prins (22), from Riversdale in the Cape.

In the Jazz/Popular Music section, a battle royale awaits between finalists Bokani Dyer (27) and Nicholas Williams (27), both from Cape Town. The glittering prize they are gunning for is one of two R170 000 SAMRO Foundation scholarships to study music abroad. These scholarships are the country’s most lucrative and sought-after music education awards, and winning one can place young musicians in the league of legends.

The four finalists were named as the top contenders after the 12 semi-finalists from around the country performed in front of a panel of high-level adjudicators on Thursday. They were required to play certain prescribed piano works as well as compositions of their own choice, before the top two candidates in each genre were selected.

The other Western Art Music semi-finalists were Sylvia Jen (26), Coila-Leah Enderstein (22), Nina Phillips (24) and Daniel Strahilevitz (24). In the Jazz/Popular Music category, the other semi-finalists were Lifa Arosi (24), Sibusiso Mashiloane (29), Wandile Molefe (29) and Gabriel Montgomery (23).

The SAMRO Foundation, the corporate social investment arm of SAMRO, has been offering these prestigious scholarships for over 50 years and is proud that many previous participants and award recipients have gone on to achieve great success and renown in their chosen music vocations.

Limited tickets are available for the finals. For any enquiries, contact Naseema Yusuf at the SAMRO Foundation on (011) 712-8417, or email or