Leading orchestra’s research claims 6.2 million adults will discover classical music in 2022

10 February 2022, 13:31

Over 6 million adults in the U.K. will discover classical music this year
Over 6 million adults in the U.K. will discover classical music this year. Picture: Getty

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

More than two thirds of adults in the UK are planning to explore a new genre of music this year.

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Over six million adults in the UK intend on “giving classical music a go” in 2022, according to new nationwide research.

Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), a national survey has revealed that this group of adults, who admitted to “not knowing much” about classical music, intend on listening and attending concerts to learn more about the genre.

25 percent of this group were aged between 18-35, meaning just over 1.5 million young people could be coming to the genre for the first time in 2022.

The research also revealed that two thirds of the UK’s adult population are planning to explore new genres across music this year.

“Despite months of disruption, with venues being shut and concert cancellations, people’s desire to discover new music, challenge themselves and indulge in their own interests is as strong as ever,” said James Williams, managing director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Music is an important and integral part of people’s lives, and technology today means it has never been easier to discover or learn more about new genres of music.”

Read more: The UK’s best cheap orchestra and opera tickets for young audiences

While online access to the arts was a top priority during the pandemic, 34 percent of those surveyed agreed that having music events at a local level – “on their doorstep” – would be the top incentive to encouraging more people to try new music genres. One in five also felt the Government needed to do more to support UK venues.

Low-cost tickets, especially for first-time attendees, were also cited as a big incentive by 25 percent of those surveyed.

These cheaper ticket rates for newcomers are becoming more common across the arts. Organisations like Music in the Round in Sheffield offer £5 tickets to first-time bookers, while Opera North, Classic FM’s Opera Company in the UK, offers tickets to your first opera for £20.

The survey pinpointed certain areas of the country, including Yorkshire and Wales, as the most willing to try classical music. These areas also had the highest percentage of people who admitted to not knowing a “huge amount” about the genre.

Williams said, “For those new to orchestral music, over 400 years of the greatest music ever written awaits.

“Of course, nothing beats the real thing when it comes to live performance. As is clear from these results, access to the live music experience is an important factor in helping people to discover new music. One part of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s huge appeal is the breadth of its wide-ranging repertoire, covering most musical tastes: from Mahler to Minecraft, and Broadway to Bond.

“Whatever twist or turns come from the pandemic, let’s hope that 2022 is the year where music lovers can again attend live performances with some consistency and regularity.”