For the past few weeks, he has been rehearsing with the full orchestra once a week. Matthew said that he was inspired after he saw a video of a 7-year-old conducting the nine-minute piece. He told The London Economic that he can now conduct the full piece from memory.
Matthew, who’s already a Grade 5 standard violinist, admitted to Sky News that he had some jitters when he first began orchestrating.
“At first I was nervous but you just get used to doing it, but the thing is you just have to keep counting the beats,” he said. Matthew also plays the drums, guitar, piano and viola.
Neil Bennison, music program manager at the Royal Concert Hall, told The London Economic that Matthew’s skill level is rare.
“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,” he said. “Orchestras can 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.”
The prodigy’s music teacher and mentor Derek Williams told Sky News that he’s one of the most talented kids he’s worked with, but Matthew isn’t done learning yet.
“He’s doing lots of good things and he has a long way to go but the orchestra is very supportive of what he is doing and hopefully come the time of his first concert he will be ready.”