Australian Tom Donald is a piano virtuoso with classical roots, mixed with a strong interest in all styles including Latin, soul, rock, R&B, musical and jazz. He is regarded as a master of improvising these styles by critics and audiences alike who have witnessed his solo piano concerts.
Tom Donald was born in the small town of Coonabarabran in New South Wales. Despite having a hearing deficiency which lead to speech difficulties, he developed music as his first language. Tom started playing the piano from the age of five, and began composing music shortly afterwards. Aged ten, Tom moved with his family to Tamworth, known as the Country Music Capital of Australia. There he played his first paid gig, aged fourteen, at Monty’s restaurant in the prestigious five-star Powerhouse Hotel. Monty’s was a popular location for visiting business travellers from home and abroad. Tom became a frequent performer and developed a playing style that included all genres of music, from classical through to pop and rock.
By age eighteen, Tom was already an established local composer and concert pianist, and went on to spend the next three years studying a Bachelor of Music degree at Newcastle Conservatorium, Newcastle University, Australia.
Tom Donald in London
The year after completing his degree, Tom moved to London. After only a few months his first band The Rasps played at Hackney Empire holding together a barely alive Pete Doherty on a Babyshambles reunion tour. Shortly afterwards he played at Abbey Road Studios performing a Beatles set in the famous Studio 3. Tom has since forged a career as a solo pianist, bandleader and composers in many genres. In 2008 he was runner up in the UK Songwriting Competition, with two songs Half Moon and Brokeback composed with lyricists Julie Cox and Sirena Riley.
His concerts to date have been performed to wide audiences at venues such as Abbey Road Studios London, BBC Radio Centre, Hackney Empire, BBC Maida Vale Studios, Ronnie Scotts, The Horcynus Festival, Sicily and the Dubai Film Festival. His latest piano concerts have seen him play in London, at The Cheltenham Festival, Germany, Spain and Italy.
Tom Donald in the Media
In March 2016 Tom performed on BBC’s Newsnight with Evan Davis after the passing of George Martin, demonstrating the influence that Martin had on the production of songs written by Lennon and McCartney which went on to be performed by The Beatles. It was the first time in the program’s history they had brought a Grand Piano into the Newsnight Studio for a musical contribution. In September 2016 Tom’s composition and performance Meditation was played on the Radio 2’s Clare Balding Show for Remembrance Sunday.
In recent years Tom’s film compositions have included work on six award winning films, acclaimed throughout Europe and The Middle East. These include Haider Rashid’s La Per Peviore which won an Italian Globe Award and Leaving Bagdad which won a Raindance Film Festival Best Independent Film Award.
London Contemporary School of Piano
In 2010 Tom founded the London Contemporary School of Piano, which has since turned into a worldwide group of musical enthusiasts often disenchanted with traditional teaching methods, who benefit from a fresh and modern approach to their playing. The school sees students both young and mature from over twenty countries who regularly visit the Baker Street studios.