Tom Donald is a wonderful pianist, and on Tuesday I went to see him perform live at Home House, a beautiful Georgian town house which is also a private members’ club & a perfect venue given the intimate settings. Tom had recently appeared on ‘Connections’ (the glorious extravaganza I’m involved with on Wandsworth Radio every Friday) and we’re hoping to have him back on again soon.
Following the death of George Martin in March 2016, Tom performed on BBC’s Newsnight, demonstrating Martin’s influence on music production and the complex yet brilliant nature of his arrangements. A Grand Piano was brought into the studio for the first time in the program’s history. Furthermore, to mark Remembrance Sunday in November 2016, Tom performed his own composition, Meditation, on BBC Radio 2. Elsewhere in London he’s performed at Abbey Road Studios, BBC Maida Vale Studios & Ronnie Scott’s. Other European concerts include Germany, Spain & Italy. He’s also composed soundtracks for award winning films. On top of all that, he’s founder of The London Contemporary School of Piano, so if you’re disenchanted with traditional teaching methods & you could benefit from a fresh approach then you know where to go!
But, back to the concert! Familiar tunes such as Nessun Dorma, Jupiter (Holst’s Planets) & Blackbird were given original re-workings. Tom is an absolute master of improvisation. He’s also a dab hand when it comes to genre fusion: Latin, Soul, Rock, R&B, Jazz… you name it, he can play it. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the evening for me was when, spur of the moment & totally unrehearsed, Tom decided to play a Bach fugue with a bit of Lady Gaga thrown in for good measure. Of course, it totally worked & was a reminder that not only do certain musical chords blend together much better than you expect them to, but also that musicians over the years have been inspired by pretty much everything that’s come before them.