He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
288,000 new listeners have switched on Classic FM over the last year, according to official figures.
The world's biggest classical music radio station has posted a significant increase in audience. 5.5 million people now listen to Classic FM each week, and they're tuning in for longer.
According to the latest official figures*, 75,000 new listeners have joined Tim Lihoreau for Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast. The programme remains the biggest breakfast show on commercial radio, reaching 1.7 million people every week.
"Presenting the nation’s classical breakfast show is a real honour," says Tim, "and I'm delighted that even more people are now choosing to wake up with Classic FM."
John Suchet has seen his audience surge to over 2.8 million people – an increase of 168,000 since the same period in 2014.
John described it as an enormous privilege to share this music with such a wide variety of listeners.
"Whether you’ve only just discovered Classic FM, or you've been with us for years, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all for listening," he said.
Since taking over Classic FM's afternoon show last year, Anne-Marie Minhall has grown the audience by 233,000, to 2.6 million people.
Further successes include 45,000 new listeners for Alexander Armstrong's Saturday afternoon show, and audience growth of 75,000 for Charlotte Green’s Culture Club – Classic FM's flagship interview programme, with recent guests including Helena Bonham Carter and Dawn French.
Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of Classic FM, said: "Classic FM is the home of classical music in the UK, and we’re thrilled to be welcoming so many new listeners. We’ve seen a particularly significant increase in our younger audience, demonstrating that Classic FM is making classical music relevant to a whole new generation."
* RAJAR / Ipsos-MORI / RSMB, period ending September 20th 2015. All stations and groups results are reported on their specified reporting period and TSA (Total Survey Area).