The young find lockdown stress relief in classical music

The Classical Revival 2020

Lockdown has drawn huge numbers of younger people to orchestral music, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), music streaming service Deezer and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), The Classical Revival 2020 claims that younger people have been turning to classical music playlists to ease the stresses of the pandemic.

RPO’s nationwide research found 35 percent of respondents under 35 years old felt listening to orchestral music during lockdown had helped them relax and maintain a sense of calmness and wellbeing, while a further 18 percent said the genre had lifted their spirits in isolation. Deezer’s streaming data show that 59 percent of under 30-year-olds have been listening to orchestral music during lockdown compared just 10 percent a decade ago. Much of this has been through classical playlists on streaming services.

This may help explain the dramatic rise in orchestral streamin rates during the first month of lockdown. The report’s data show that 18- to 25-year-olds account for over a third of the worldwide classical streaming audience, an increase of 11 percent between March and April this year alone. Perennials such as Mozart and Bach and emerging young soloists such at saxophonist Jess Gillam and cellist Sheku Kenneh-Mason all reaped the benefits.

All this bodes well for the post-pandemic emergence of orchestras. RPO findings say that it is under 35-year-olds who are most likely to spend more on live classical music when the auditoriums re-open.

‘The lockdown era broke the consumer’s connection with live concert hall experiences, which is the heartbeat of the music industry,’ says James Williams, Managing Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

‘Despite the enormous challenges, music lovers adapted during lockdown. At a time of crisis and anxiety, music has become more important to people as an expression of hope, giving some the strength to endure and for others serving as a tonic to support their mental health and wellbeing.’

‘This study brings into sharp focus a gradual trend that we have been seeing, and to which the lockdown is giving added impetus, of Classical appealing to a younger audience’ adds Chris Green, BPI Director of Research.

‘Streaming is providing a gateway for younger music consumers to discover Classical in all its delights, ranging from Mozart’s symphonic masterpieces to Ludovico Einaudi’s more contemporary compositions.’


The report is available for download here.

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