Ahead of her concert with the Tonbridge Philharmonic at St Peter & St Paul Church on February 18, Matilda Lloyd – the local musician who was crowned BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014 in the Brass Category – tells Eileen Leahy all about her journey from playing as a hobby as a child to performing at the Royal Albert Hall…
I STARTED playing the trumpet 13 years ago when I was eight years old. I was a naturally curious child, and stumbled across my father’s old trumpet in a cupboard one day.
He had played the instrument at school, and I wanted to have a go on it, and discovered I could make quite a decent sound – so I started having lessons. Three years later, when I was 11, I was playing in my first concert with the Sevenoaks-based Lydian orchestra.
I really feel that music is enjoyed best through live concerts, by both the performers and the audience. With live performance there can be a real connection between the two which can add greatly to the enjoyment of a concert.
I played my first one as a soloist when I was 17, and once again this was with the Lydian Orchestra, at St Stephen’s church in Tonbridge.
I love how playing live gives you the sense of really being there in that special moment with the audience. It’s also wonderful that they can witness you pour your heart and soul into performing the music.
The most memorable concert I have done to date was at the BBC Proms in July 2016. I walked out on to the stage of the Royal Albert Hall to around 6,000 people, and the atmosphere there was just incredible. Knowing that many more people would see and hear my performance on radio and TV broadcasts was also amazing as it made my performance very special.
I hope it will have inspired lots of young children to take up brass instruments.
‘My dream venue would be somewhere
like Carnegie Hall in New York
or the Musikverein in Vienna’
Playing well obviously takes a lot of dedication, and I generally try to practise for two hours a day – but I often play longer than that when I have to factor in rehearsals and concerts.
In terms of having a dream venue to play in, it would be somewhere like Carnegie Hall in New York or the Musikverein in Vienna.
I also play the piano in my free time, and used to play the cello and sing, participating in string orchestras and school choirs when I was younger.
I was home-educated for most of my primary school years, which helped develop my love for music and my own individual creativity that is so important for my career now.
I then went to school at Walthamstow Hall in Sevenoaks and moved to The Judd School in Tonbridge for Sixth Form. I’m currently at university, and in my final year reading Music at Trinity College, Cambridge. After gaining a First in my second year exams I was made a Senior Scholar of the college.
After completing my degree, I will continue studying in September on the Masters in Performance course at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After graduating, I hope I can pursue a career as an international trumpet soloist.
To book tickets to see Matilda Lloyd performing with the Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra at St Peter & St Paul Church in Tonbridge on Saturday February 18 at 7.30pm, visit www.tonphil.org.uk
She will be performing a variety of pieces, including Debussy’s Nocturnes and Symphony in B flat by Chausson.
Tickets cost £15 for adults, £14 for senior citizens and £7 for students.