Orchestral concerts, long perceived as exclusive elite events, are enjoying a renaissance among younger demographics, as evidenced by a recent survey from the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Orchestral Music: A Revival in the Digital Era
A Rising Trend
A recent survey by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, based in London, explored the sentiments of 2,000 UK adults towards orchestral concerts. The findings? A heartening 84% expressed an interest in attending, up from 79% in a 2018 survey.
This renewed enthusiasm can be traced back to a diverse concert-going audience. Interestingly, the new attendees, comprising 54% of the respondents, were classical music novices, outpacing the 37% of seasoned aficionados.
The internet, especially platforms like YouTube and TikTok, has played a significant role in reviving classical music. With over 4.7 billion views, the #classicalmusic hashtag stands testament to the growing trend.
Pop Culture: The Catalyst
Modern media is another significant influencer. Many popular video games, films, and TV series are integrating classical compositions. Shows like “Westworld” and “Bridgerton” are creatively blending classical elements with contemporary music, thereby capturing the younger audience’s imagination.
The modern audience is not just limited to online streams. Around 30% of the survey respondents voiced an interest in live orchestral performances of musicals, pop, or film scores. Additionally, 25% were keen on a film accompanied by a live orchestra, or a family-oriented orchestral event. However, chamber music concerts still lag behind, garnering interest from just 12% of those polled.
The Path Forward
For James Williams, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra‘s managing director, these figures bring hope. In light of the challenges faced by orchestras, from pandemic-related closures to funding uncertainties, he sees a need to bolster public trust and cater to the evolving audience. As he eloquently put it, orchestras should “nurture a journey of discovery” rather than dictate musical tastes.