Education Key to Classical Music Diversity

Candace Allen has been in touch with Classic FM to clarify the quotes attributed to her concerning racism in the world of British classical music.

The author and screenwriter believes that musical education from an early age is key to cultivating a love and understanding of classical music which can then be translated into musical skills. Moreover, the issue of greater racial integration in our musical institutions isn’t a problem that can be resolved overnight. 

Writing to Classic FM via Facebook, Allen says: “In the cited interview I made a point of saying that tremendous effort is being made by orchestras in the UK and the US to overcome any histories of discrimination with the introduction of blind auditions, at least in the early stages, and with all kinds of equal access documentation.” 

What's vital is attracting talented youngsters of all backgrounds who are prepared to pay their dues to truly allow their skills to flourish. 

“The problem is more achieving diversity in the pool of musicians in who love and excel at this music, have been willing and able to put in the necessary hours of tuition and practice to go up for these jobs,” she says. 

She concludes: “Getting more diversity into orchestras isn't like desegregating buses or a lunch counter. It can't be solved by the stroke of a pen. It has to start on ground/primary school level, consistently inspiring children and will take time. But there is similarity in that both - indeed all - such changes of traditions take courage and tenacity.”