Tal­ented vi­olin­ist is mak­ing­waves

Farn­bor­ough stu­dent Tom Balch has per­formed at Guild­ford Cathe­dral

Aldershot News & Mail - - NEWS -

A TEENAGER from Fleet is mak­ing great strides in his dream of be­com­ing a top vi­olin­ist.

Tom Balch, 17, has been play­ing the vi­o­lin since he was five and, in re­cent years, has stud­ied with pro­fes­sional vi­olin­ist Christo­pher Hirons in Lon­don and played in the Na­tional Youth Cham­ber Orches­tra.

A for­mer pupil at Calthorpe Park School in Fleet, Tom at­tends Farn­bor­ough Sixth Form Col­lege where he was awarded a schol­ar­ship to en­able him to fur­ther his stud­ies.

The col­lege mu­sic de­part­ment re­cently ran a con­certo com­pe­ti­tion in which Tom played the first move­ment of Vi­o­lin Con­certo in C, by Ka­balevsky.

He was awarded first prize out of 12 com­peti­tors with ad­ju­di­ca­tor – renowned or­gan­ist Dame Gillian Weir – con­grat­u­lat­ing him on a ‘su­perb per­for­mance’.

As a re­sult of win­ning, Tom per­formed the same con­certo with a pro­fes­sional orches­tra in Guild­ford Cathe­dral this month.

He is now look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing a lunchtime recital at Ar­bor­field Gar­ri­son Church, on Au­gust 21.

Mr Balch said: “Play­ing a whole con­certo in Guild­ford Cathe­dral was an ex­tremely rare op­por­tu­nity for me.

“It was a mas­sive priv­i­lege to be in the pres­ence of a pro­fes­sional orches­tra in that mag­nif­i­cent space.

“Ar­bor­field will be the first op­por­tu­nity for me to give a whole pub­lic recital on my own.

“It re­ally is an ex­cit­ing prospect.”

Tom plays in the Hamp­shire County Youth Orches­tra and is leader of the Hamp­shire County Youth Cham­ber Orches­tra.

Ear­lier this year, both or­ches­tras toured, be­tween them vis­it­ing Ger­many, Poland, Slo­vakia and the Czech Repub­lic.

Tom has per­formed in a wide va­ri­ety of con­certs in many venues, in­clud­ing solo work as part of a con­cert given by counter-tenor Luis Pe­cas, to­gether with a per­for­mance of Dvo­rak Sym­phony No. 9 in a BBC ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme, un­der the ba­ton of Ni­cholas Col­lon in Lon­don’s fa­mous Maida Vale Stu­dios.

Other solo work per­formed in Lon­don in­cludes Vi­valdi’s Four Sea­sons, Haydn and Corelli vi­o­lin con­cer­tos, Schindler’s List and Czardas, by Monti.

As a founder mem­ber of the Hamp­shire Mu­sic Ser­vice’s Hamp­shire Swing Trio, Tom fre­quently per­forms at pres­ti­gious venues which have in­cluded Winch­ester Cathe­dral, Wolvesey Palace and the Great Hall.

Next year he hopes to fur­ther his stud­ies at the Royal Col­lege of Mu­sic in Lon­don.


Vi­olin­ist Tom Balch, of Fleet, who re­cently played at Guild­ford Cathe­dral.

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