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Physicist and pianist - Southampton professor takes the stage

Published: 25 November 2005

Professor of theoretical physics Tim Morris will be swapping the lecture theatre for the concert hall this weekend when he performs in the final of a top classical music competition.

Tim, who has been playing the piano since he was eight, has won through to the last four of the first Pianist-Yamaha Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. He has chosen a Scarlatti sonata and Funerailles by Liszt for the final at London's Cadogan Hall on Saturday (26 November).

"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. He has already tasted success closer to home in piano competitions at the Southampton Festival.

The competition has been organised by Yamaha and Pianist magazine with support from Classic FM. The first prize will be £10,000 from Yamaha to put towards a new piano.

British classical pianist John Lill (who was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Southampton in 1992) commented: "I have often been impressed by the playing of some outstanding amateur pianists. This contest will give such musicians a unique opportunity for even greater development through self training and performance to a wider public."

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