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UK Music Supports New Campaign To Celebrate The Value and Power Of Classical Music

UK Music is supporting a new campaign from The Association of British Orchestras which celebrates the value and power of connection that classical music brings to the UK. 

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21.05.2024: UK Music is supporting a new campaign from The Association of British Orchestras (ABO), which celebrates the value and power of connection that classical music brings to the UK. 

The campaign launched with a new survey that showed people believe that orchestras have an important role to play in the nation’s cultural life, with 74% saying that orchestras are a vital part of the UK’s cultural heritage.

Along with campaign partners Classic FM, Classical Music Magazine, LIVE, the Musicians’ Union and ISM, UK Music will support the ABO and its member orchestras to celebrate the special connection that classical music can evoke.

The campaign’s purpose is to inspire the British public to celebrate and share what classical music means to them. Through the hashtag #MusicThatMovesYou, people are invited to show their love of classical music and support for UK orchestras by sharing a piece of classical music on social media that has moved them and what the music has meant to them in their life.

British orchestras are some of the UK’s most globally admired and influential cultural organisations and a pillar of the country’s creative economy, and the new survey has shown that it is at the heart of some our most important personal and national moments.

According to the survey of 2,000 UK adults, conducted by Opinium, four in five of UK adults suggest that music has reminded them of important moments in their life. 71% of people believe that classical music amplifies the big moments in life such as weddings, funerals, sporting events and national ceremonies, with nearly three quarters (73%) of 18-34 year olds agreeing with this. Moreover, 65% of the ABO’s survey felt that classical music is under-appreciated by today’s society.

Classical music is listened to in a variety of settings: concert halls, on the radio, streaming, and the survey recognises a multitude of emotional responses that respondents felt whilst listening to the music.

The most common words were relaxing (37%), timeless (36%), powerful (36%) and emotional (33%). Furthermore, the survey found that younger generations – 73% of 18-34 year olds – want to be completely immersed when listening to their music, contrasting with 59% of 35-54 year olds, and 43% of 55+ year olds.

Seven in ten of UK adultsfrom the ABO’s survey believe music is an important part of their wellbeing. With many orchestras and ensembles carrying out performances in health and social care settings, not only do they contribute to the cultural life in local communities across the country, they make a vital contribution to the nation’s wellbeing, by enabling anyone to connect with the arts and to experience live music performances.

The Association of British Orchestras’ Chair, Sophie Lewis, said: “It is truly heartening to see how much classical music matters to the British public. Our survey showed how people turn to classical music in so many different settings, not only for pure enjoyment, but for reflection, mindfulness and to feel a powerful sense of connection – whether that’s a highly personal sense of emotion, or to share life’s special moments with those around them. Everyone has their favourite music that transports them to a landmark moment in their life. We want to start a conversation open to everyone – both enthusiasts and casual listeners of classical music – to introduce one another to the music that moves them. We want to spark engagement and excitement for us all to celebrate the music that we can be proud of in Britain as a part of our cultural heritage, showcased by our members on a world class level.”

Tom Kiehl, Interim Chief Executive of UK Music, said: “It has been wonderful to see my young son recently connect with Holst’s The Planets, play with musical instruments and discover what an orchestra is. I hope that this is the beginning of a lifetime of love for classical music and an experience that will continue to inspire him. We all have our own personal soundtrack to the big moments in our lives. We need to value orchestras, musicians and composers more. Without them it would not be possible to create memories through harnessing the sheer power of music.”

Naomi Pohl, General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, added: “The MU is delighted to support the ABO’s campaign, which will shine a light on the exciting and evolving work of orchestras and orchestral musicians across the UK. We know the vital role that our musicians play in the nation’s cultural landscape and how they also feature in our most precious personal moments. Audiences and music fans of all ages engage with classical music in diverse and surprising ways, and we look forward to supporting the ABO in showcasing this through their campaign.”

Philip Noyce, Managing Editor of Classic FM, said: “Classic FM has always supported orchestras in the UK and we know how much their incredible passion, skill and dedication means to our audience – which is why we are delighted to be supporting the ABO’s campaign. Classic FM listeners love orchestral music for so many reasons: it has such a rich history, with centuries-worth of material, and yet it still has so much resonance today, with the power to bring calm, comfort and focus, and to energise, inspire and motivate in equal measure. We are thrilled to support this campaign that will help people connect with our nation’s amazing orchestras in new and powerful ways.”

Florence Lockheart, Editor of Classical Music Magazine, added: “The immense value of the creative sector that Classical Music strives to serve is continuously underestimated. Partnering with this campaign we hope to raise the profile of classical music across society and to make the case that the industry deserves recognition and support which is reflective of the enduring impact of this artform and the enormous amount of effort and passion which members of the sector bring to their work every day.”

Steve Lamacq, Chair of LIVE, said: “The UK’s orchestras are some of the most admired in the world and are a key building block of the UK’s creative economy. LIVE is proud to support this campaign celebrating our incredible classical musicians, who have the ability to move audiences in so many ways through their joyful and powerful performances whether that’s at concert halls or at festivals all over the country. Their ability to bring audiences together across the spectrum – from traditional classical concerts to innovative collaborations with rock and pop artists – should never be undervalued.”

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Independent Society of Musicians, commented: “Classical music is a cornerstone of our country’s cultural offer. Musicians are the very essence of our orchestras and the heartbeat of this cherished art form. It is wonderful to see how much the British public appreciate their talent and dedication, and the passion that they bring to performing the music that accompanies some of the most important moments in our personal and national life. The ISM looks forward to supporting the ABO’s new campaign, which promises to bring classical music closer to audiences and inspire more people to discover the huge diversity of all that our talented musicians do to bring this magnificent music to life.”

The three-year-long campaign will continue with further key moments, conversation starters and events will be announced in due course.

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