Formula One racing car designer gears up for classic performance with Milton Keynes City Orchestra


Following professional recognition as the most outstanding amateur Classical piano talent in the UK, a highly acclaimed debut album release and sellout concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Festival Hall, Formula One racing car designer Dominic Piers Smith will perform with Milton Keynes City Orchestra on Sunday 4th July at the Milton Keynes Theatre. Music lovers will have the opportunity to hear this outstanding pianist perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the orchestra which will be conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton.
The evening promises a treat for discerning classical music lovers of all ages and the programme for the concert presented by Milton Keynes City Orchestra and Yamaha (whose head office is in Milton Keynes ) will also include Finlandia – Sibelius, New World Symphony – Dvorak plus ‘Birthday Fanfare’ in honour of the late Sir John Dankworth, who composed the piece for the Orchestra’s 25th anniversary.
The outstanding piano talent of 34 year old Oxford-based aerodynamicist Dominic Piers Smith came to the attention of the classical music world just over two years ago after he won the final of the acclaimed ‘Pianists’ Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, presented by Yamaha and Classic FM at Cadogan Hall.
Dominic wowed a heavyweight panel of classical judges comprising international artists Noriko Ogawa, Piers Lane, Martin Roscoe and Barry Wordsworth with his dynamic and expressive performance of Debussy and Chopin. He was also voted winner of the prestigious ‘Audience Favourite’ award, by the sold-out 800-capacity audience at the event.
Since then, Dominic’s career has gone from strength to strength with Musical Opinion Magazine claiming, “The story of Dominic Piers Smith is surely one of the most astonishing of any pianist in recent years”. 2009 was a year of superlatives during which he received a standing ovation for his performance of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and released his outstanding debut double CD of masterpieces by Chopin and Liszt, ‘The Power of Dreaming’ the same night.
The success story continues in summer 2010 as Dominic makes his Shostakovich Concerto debut with Milton Keynes City Orchestra and is to be the subject of a feature by BBC Music Magazine.
But what sets Dominic’s talents apart from the others is that he is also Team Leader of an aerodynamic design group for Mercedes GP Petronas, (formerly Brawn GP which won both the 2009 Formula One drivers' and constructors' championships in the team's first year, an achievement never previously seen in the sport’s history).
Not content with having a leading role in the design of state-of-the-art Formula One cars, Dominic’s pianistic capabilities, critically acclaimed as ‘brilliant’, have been compared to those of renowned masters such as Van Cliburn and Moura Lympany.
At 18 Dominic agonised over his career path before deciding to read Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College, studying in London, Aachen and Maranello. He worked with the Ferrari Formula One Team in his final year and, after graduating, his first racing car design won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 in the USA in 2000.
Dominic commenced piano lessons at 6 and violin at 8 and, having won several music festivals, was awarded an ‘Exhibition’ by Bedfordshire Youth Music to study at Trinity College of Music, London, until the end of his ‘A’ levels. He played the young Mozart in the Channel 4 series ‘Man and his Music’ and also became principal bassoonist in the Trinity College Symphony Orchestra, in frequent demand as a piano soloist, accompanist and ensemble member. He has given solo performances at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, Southwark Cathedral, Edinburgh Festival, Hanauer Konzerthalle Frankfurt and Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne, having played numerous concerti, including Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto and the rarely heard Tchaikovsky 2nd Piano Concerto.
Tickets for the concert at Milton Keynes Theatre @ 7.30 pm on Sunday 4th July are now available for booking with prices for Single Tickets - £30, £28, £23, £19, £14 and £10 with Under 18 Student concessionary tickets at £5.  For more information, full programme details and to purchase please call 01908 - 558311.