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Video: 18-year-old Matthew Farthing of Martlesham Heath appears on BBC’s Young Musician final tonight

11:38 25 April 2014

Matthew performing in the BBC's Young Musician show at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Matthew performing in the BBC's Young Musician show at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.


A musical talent of a Martlesham Heath schoolboy will go on national broadcast tonight when he appears on the BBC’s Young Musician programme.

Matthew Farthing from Martlesham HeathMatthew Farthing from Martlesham Heath

Matthew Farthing, a virtuoso percussionist, battled through two gruelling rounds to appear in the final of the programme’s percussion category. The show, which seeks out outstanding young talent, was recorded last month in the Dora Stoutzker Hall of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff.

Matthew, 18, attends Farlingaye High School and has been playing percussion since the age of six.

He has performed with the Aldeburgh Young Musicians and this year will be the principal percussionist in the National Youth Orchestra.

Matthew was recently awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with a view to making his career performing in orchestras.

“I think it is that every time you step up to play percussion it’s a new instrument, you never feel like you’re boxed in, you’re always exploring new things,” said Matthew.

The teenager, who also plays piano and the violin, doesn’t limit himself to orchestral music, however. He and his equal talented siblings have formed a band called The Farthings.

The foursome play folk and country music at festivals in East Anglia, and last year Matthew and his sister Hannah played Latitude.

It was after his friend achieved success in the BBC music programme that Matthew decided he should give it a go himself.

“I watched the competition for many years and last time the competition was broadcast in Wales I went to support my friend in the final and that’s when I really got the buzz to do it myself,” he said. “That inspired me.”

Fortunately, Matthew doesn’t let nerves get in the way of his performing ability.

“When I chose music as a career I decided it wouldn’t do me any good to get nervous. If I’m going to choose to do this I better just enjoy it,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to perform on stage. You obviously have all the cameras on you as well and you have to focus on the performance and make sure it’s the best it possibly can be.”

BBC Young Musician – Category Final: Percussion will be on BBC Four tonight at 7.30pm.


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