america's classics

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The concert will make Matthew the world’s youngest ever conductor!

Matthew’s performance will form part of NSO’s ‘Animal Magic!’ show which will also feature Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky and Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev.

Neil Bennison, music programme manager at the Royal Concert Hall, said young conductors like Matthew are 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.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.

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.

Can we be honest for a moment and say that it’s rare to hear anything positive on the news, especially when it comes to black children? Matthew Smith is definitely making history. This young man is talented. I hope he does well and goes far.

  • Someone: what are you thinking about, you okay?
  • What I say: oh um, nothing, im fine!
  • What I mean: i just am still so blown away by the conviction and determination with which Bucky Barnes said 'No! Not without you!' in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) dir. Joe Johnston. He literally slams his hand down on the railing in frustration when he hears Steve say 'Just go, get out of here!'. The facility is falling down around him, everything is literally on fire and staying means certain death, but the idea of leaving there without Steve is completely unfathomable to him, it's so inconceivable that he's angry that Steve would even suggest such a thing. Bucky said he was with him right up to the very end and if this was the end of the line for Steve then it would be for him too and I'm just so overwhelmed by their commitment to each other.

Ansel Adams setting up for a shoot in Yosemite, 1935