AN 11-YEAR-OLD schoolboy from the UK is set to make history as the world’s youngest conductor when he leads the 75-strong Nottingham Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at the Royal Concert Hall in the city on April 2.
Matthew Smith, a Grade 5 standard violinist who also plays the guitar, drums, piano and viola, takes the record from 14-year-old Jose Angel Salazar who oversaw 70 musicians in his native Venezuela.
The schoolboy has been practicing with the 75-strong NSO orchestra once a week ahead of the performance of Johann Strauss’ operetta Die Fledermaus.
Matthew, who lives in Carlton, Nottingham, said he “first listened to Die Fledermaus when I was seven-years-old”.
He told the Mail Online: “I’d seen a video of a young child conducting the nine-minute piece and really wanted to give it a go. I managed to conduct the whole thing a few weeks later.
“I have been rehearsing with NSO for a couple of weeks now and it’s sounding really good.”
Derek Williams, NSO conductor and Matthew’s music teacher, added: “I spotted Matthew’s musical talent very early on in his musical tuition as I’ve been teaching him violin for five years.
“There aren’t many children who have the ability to conduct a 75-strong orchestra from memory and it’s a really incredible thing to witness.”