On April 2nd, at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, 11-year-old child prodigy Matthew Smith, from Nottingham, in the United Kingdom, will become the youngest maestro to lead a 75-piece orchestra.
Conducting the city’s Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus, Smith will officially beat out a 14-year-old boy from Venezuela who currently holds the title. Already a grade 5 violinist, Smith first heard Die Fledermaus when he was only seven-years-old, and can now conduct the full piece from memory.
“At first I was nervous but you just get used to doing it,” Smith told The London Economic in a recent interview, “but the thing is you just have to keep counting the beats.” Smith also plays the drums, guitar, piano and viola.
Neil Bennison, the music program manager at the Royal Concert Hall told The London Economic that Smith’s skill level is extremely rare and that “successful conductors have to be team managers, leaders, motivators and diplomats, and these people skills take time to develop and require a level of maturity that only comes with years of experience. Orchestras an be pretty merciless to conductors for whom they have no respect, so you’d have to be a supremely confident young maestro to win over a lot of hardened professional musicians,” yet, Smith has managed to just do that.
His teacher and mentor Derek Williams said that Smith is one of the most talented students that he has worked with, although he is not done learning yet, the entire orchestra is behind him supporting his every move. Williams also states that, “…come time of his first concert he will be ready.”
From what we see, it is no doubt that Smith is well on his way to becoming the world-renowned maestro that he dreams, and we can only say, bravo!
Check out the video below and let us know what you think!