Schoolboy Matthew Smith said he first heard Johann Strauss' operetta Die Fledermaus at the age of seven.

Four years later he has committed it to memory in order to become the world's youngest orchestra conductor.

Matthew will make musical history when he leads the 75-strong Nottingham Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the classical classic.

The 11-year-old's baton-wielding performance at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall next month will see him break the record of Jose Angel Salazar, who at 14 directed the Venezuelan youth orchestra.

The 11-year-old will lead the adult orchestra as part of an Animal Magic! showcase on April 2. Credit:

A Grade 5 standard violinist, Matthew also plays the guitar, drums, piano and viola.

He has been attending weekly practices after getting inspiration from a fellow young performer.

"I'd seen a video of a young child conducting the nine-minute piece and really wanted to give it a go," Matthew said.

"I managed to conduct the whole thing a few weeks later."

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.

Matthew's music teacher said watching the prodigy wield the baton is a 'really incredible thing to witness'. Credit:

The young performer has been hailed by his music teacher, the Nottingham orchestra's conductor Derek Williams.

"I spotted Matthew's musical talent very early on in his musical tuition as I've been teaching him violin for five years," Mr Williams said.

"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."

Matthew said he hoped his practice pays off during the performance on April 2.

"There are some difficult parts where the music gets faster so I have to move my arms more but I'm getting the hang of it.

"I'm really excited to put my skills to the test."