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.
Young people today are more likely to learn a musical instrument than their parents, according to a new YouGov research study commissioned by Philharmonia.
According to the study, 80% of today's children in the UK are likely to learn a musical instrument of some kind, compared to 63% their parents' generation.
The research also concluded that the most popular areas in the UK for learning instruments are the West Midlands (where 83% of children engage with learning an instrument), and also that children in the North East of England are learning the widest variety of instruments.
The most popular instruments are the recorder, with 22% of participating children opting for the classic beginners' woodwind instrument. Other popular choices were the guitar (19%) and piano (18%).
Singing is still hugely popular across the whole of the UK, but especially in Yorkshire and the East of England. Perhaps unexpectedly given the country's choral heritage, the violin was the most popularly learned instrument in Wales.
The research was commissioned by Philharmonia ahead of the launch of iOrchestra, a new initiative which aims to bring pioneering digital music activity to Plymouth, Torbay and Cornwall.
Classic FM's Sam Pittis spoke to David Whelton from Philharmonia about the new initiative and the findings of the survey.