Derek Smith won composition prizes at University College School. He was an early member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) where he met tutor Malcolm Arnold with whom he subsequently studied composition. Norman Del Mar taught him conducting, other influences being Colin Davis and Lennox Berkeley with whom he occasionally played chamber music. Music, both as performer and arranger, was pursued in the background during a scientific career, emerging as a full-time activity following an early retirement.
Derek won the BBC/Henschel Quartet composition prize in 2008-9 with Carolingua later performed at Kings Place and recorded by NEOS. His music is widely featured in West Midlands and Border programmes, nine concerts being given during the year 2017. Five CDs have been recorded.
Derek’s copyright has been assigned to GEMMA CLASSICAL MUSIC TRUST, of which he was a founder Trustee, now retired. All income from music sales and related activities is remitted directly to the Trust. Other close associations are with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, Espressivo Concert Promotions in Leominster and the Coull String Quartet in Warwick.