Artist News Digital

Classical artists find new listeners during lockdown

By | Published on Wednesday 19 August 2020


Classical and orchestral music has increased in popularity during the COVID-19 lockdown. Or at least that’s the conclusion of a study undertaken by record label trade group the BPI, streaming service Deezer and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

And don’t be thinking this is all about old people finally signing up to streaming and skewing the stats. The new report reckons that a third of those streaming classical music around the world are aged 18-25, while the under 35s were most likely to be streaming classical music during lockdown.

So maybe not enough old people are streaming and it’s skewing the stats. I don’t know. But the general gist seems to be that with the shift to streams opening up wider catalogues of music for everyone, and with all the stresses of COVID to be dealt with, more young music fans are tuning in to some classical tracks. And that’s both classical classical and less classical classical. All the classicals!

But which performers and composers are seeing the biggest benefit from this trend? Well, the top ten worldwide are Ludovico Einaudi, Yann Tiersen, Andrea Bocelli, Ramin Djawadi, John Williams, Max Richter, Lindsey Stirling, Luciano Pavarotti, Sofiane Pamart and Ólafur Arnalds.

Says the there mentioned Richter: “It is wonderful that new audiences are coming to classical music during this time of anxiety. Streaming offers listeners the chance simply to follow their enthusiasms through the musical universe without any boundaries, and I’m really happy to hear that many people are turning to classical music for the first time. As well as being a historical artform, classical music is also part of what is happening now and it is great to see more people embracing it”.

Meanwhile Deezer’s Classical Music Editor Yannick Fage adds: “Classical music is often associated with older people, but it’s exciting to see how mood listening and a new generation of talent can flip this on its head. Classical is a diverse and rich genre and working with the BPI and the RPO has given us the opportunity to dispel some of the typical stereotypes associated with it. Our data shows how streaming is helping to create a broader fanbase for classical music and artists”.