Talented violinist is makingwaves
Farnborough student Tom Balch has performed at Guildford Cathedral
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.