News release

Southampton physics professor wins at national piano recital

Ref: 05/205

30 November 2005

University of Southampton professor of theoretical physics Tim Morris struck the right chord with the audience in the finals of a top classical music competition.

Tim, who has been playing the piano since he was eight, won the 'audience favourite' prize at the Pianist-Yamaha Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in London's Cadogan Hall at the weekend. He played a Scarlatti sonata and Funerailles by Liszt before a 700-strong audience. Eighty-eight percent of them voted him as their favourite.

'I was very nervous,' confessed Tim. 'But when I got out there and started to play, it was fine. I really felt the audience was behind me, you couldn't hear a pin drop in the quieter parts of the works.'

'He was just fantastic,' enthused Erica Worth, Editor of Pianist magazine. 'Tim had the audience right behind him with his passionate and intense performance. He's got such a marvellous personality as well, the prize was well deserved.'

'There are many connections between science and music,' said Tim. 'Einstein of course was a keen violinist, Borodin was a chemist and the composer Saint-Saens was interested in astronomy and mathematics.' To reach the final, Tim had to impress a panel of judges at an audition-style semi-final. 'I told my kids it was a bit like the X-Factor on TV only everyone was much kinder.'

Tim, perhaps appropriately, has an interest in String Theory at the University.