A dozen of the country’s most gifted young pianists have booked a date with destiny at the end of August, when they will compete for one of two sought-after R170 000 overseas scholarships offered by the SAMRO Foundation.

Over the past half-century the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition, which is one of South Africa’s most lucrative music education awards, has cemented its status as a desirable addition to any emerging musician’s CV.

The 2013 competition focuses on pianists and keyboard players, and this week the SAMRO Foundation announced the six semi-finalists in the Western Art Music and Jazz/Popular Music categories, who will vie for the scholarships.

In the Jazz/Popular Music category, the semi-finalists are Lifa Arosi, Bokani Dyer, Sibusiso Mashiloane, Wandile Molefe, Gabriel Montgomery and Nicholas Williams.

The Western Art (classical) Music candidates are Coila-Leah Enderstein, Jan Hugo, Sylvia Jen, Nina Phillips, Megan-Geoffrey Prins and Daniel Strahilevitz.

They will all take part in the intermediate round of the competition at the SABC’s M1 Studio in Auckland Park on Thursday, 29 August 2013, where they will be put through their musical paces by a panel of accomplished adjudicators. Two finalists in each genre will then be selected to go through to the final round, to be held at the same venue on Saturday, 31 August 2013.

The duel between the two classical and two jazz pianists is always highly charged and superbly entertaining, and serves as a ringing endorsement of the standard of musical talent coming out of the country’s university music programmes.

What is particularly gratifying, according to André le Roux, Executive General Manager of the SAMRO Foundation, is that through its various music study awards SAMRO is helping to build a tight-knit artistic family who are influential in the music world.

He explains that one of the semi-finalists, Gabriel Montgomery, has previously been the recipient of music study bursaries from SAMRO – and is now trying his luck at reeling in the big fish, the Overseas Scholarship. Two  candidates – Bokani Dyer and Sibusiso Mashiloane –entered the competition four years ago and made it to the finals, and have now set their sights on bagging the main prize the second time around. Another example of how SAMRO is continually ploughing back into the South African music family is that two previous scholarship winners are now serving on the judging panel.

“It shows SAMRO as a patron is not just supporting one-off events, but reinvesting in growing our cultural wealth and our community of musicians over time, the culmination of which is the scholarships competition, and being involved in their career trajectories thereafter.”

For more information, visit www.samrofoundation.org.za, or contact Naseema Yusuf at the SAMRO Foundation on 011 712 8417 or naseema.yusuf@samro.org.za.


Note to editors:

Every year, the SAMRO Foundation (formerly the SAMRO Endowment for the National Arts) offers two highly sought-after Scholarships for Overseas Study in music – one in the field of Western Art Music (what is generally referred to as “classical” music) and the other in Jazz/Popular Music. 

The Scholarships – each to the value of R 170 000 – are awarded to the winners of an extended competition spread over three rounds, as adjudicated by a panel of music experts. 


Media enquiries: For interview requests, access to photos and media queries please contact Vanessa or Dees on media@jtcomms.co.za or (011) 788 7632


Issued by JT Communication Solutions on Behalf of SAMRO Foundation –www.samrofoundation.org.za