Although Dominic also studied the oboe and subsequently became principal bassoonist in the Junior Department Symphony Orchestra, it was always piano which was closest to his heart. The death of his mother from a long battle with cancer when he was fifteen, although not unexpected, emerged as a turning point in Dominic's ability to convey his emotions through his music. Frequently in demand as a soloist, ensemble member and accompanist, Dominic managed to balance his musical studies, taught principally by Patricia Holmes throughout his tuition with Trinity, with the blossoming scientific background offered by his 'A'-level choices. After solo performances at the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre, Southwark Cathedral and the Edinburgh Festival, Dominic's early career at Trinity College culminated in a complete performance of the rarely heard Tchaikovsky 2nd piano concerto, which subsequently led to several further requests to perform this epic work both at home and abroad.
After agonising over which career path to follow, Dominic initially decided to turn his attentions to the technical capabilities which had become apparent from his 'A' levels. He completed a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College, London, combined with a year at the RWTH in Aachen, Germany. Following a final-year research project sponsored by the Ferrari Formula One team he commenced a full-time career in racing car aerodynamics, his first design winning the prestigious Indianapolis 500 at the hands of Juan Pablo Montoya. Dominic subsequently worked on the design of the 2009 Brawn GP car which brought Jenson Button his maiden world championship and is currently Principal Aerodynamicist for Mercedes AMG Petronas. Having been responsible for the aerodynamic design of the most successful car in Formula One history, which took Lewis Hamilton to the 2014 World Championship, he is now heading the aerodynamic design of the 2016 challenger.
Music, however, was always a prominent part of Dominic's life, and alongside his career in Formula One, Dominic recommenced his piano studies with Christopher and Hilary Elton in 2004. He achieved distinction in the LRSM diploma for performance in 2006, and won both the classical prize and audience favourite awards in the 2007 Yamaha International Pianists competition, his reward being a complete performance of Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall, on Valentine's Night, 14th February 2009. Dominic's performance was a revelation and he was subsequently asked by Yamaha to return for a performance of the Shostakovich 2nd Piano Concerto in July 2010.
Valentine's Night 2009 also saw the official release of ‘The Power of Dreaming’ - Dominic Piers Smith’s debut solo recordings. The double CD, at the Royal Festival Hall, focused on the lives and works of two of the greatest magicians in the history of keyboard music – Frederic Chopin and Franz Liszt. Dominic’s passion and energy attracted support and collaboration from both Yamaha Music and Honda Racing Formula One Team.
In 2010 Dominic gave a rare performance of Malcolm Arnold's 'Stolen Face', a ballade for piano and orchestra as the soundtrack for a 'Hammer Horror' movie of the same name, accompanied by Worthing Symphony Orchestra under John Gibbons. The same year he gave two further performances of Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, a number of magazine interviews including BBC Music, Classical Music, Music Teacher, Gig, alongside features in Chilean Magazine VOX, Italian Newspaper Corriere della Sera and a Video Interview for Yamaha-Kemble ‘Chopin YouTube Competition’.
2011 saw Dominic give the world premiere of Nick Planas' first piano concerto after receiving the dedication for the work. He was also a finalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for outstanding amateurs and gave solo recitals in Budapest and Berlin, before winning the 2012 Paris International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs and becoming the only prize-winning amateur in London's international Open Piano Competition. 2012 saw Dominic give over 20 performances alongside his dayjob, while 2013 has taken him to numerous prestigious concert venues throughout Europe. In 2014 Dominic played in Stuttgart, home of his employers Mercedes-Benz, in one of the most prestigious music festivals in Germany. 2015 sees him giving debut performances in Morocco and Warsaw alongside a demonstration of Yamaha's incredible new Clavinova digital piano.