Maxwell Davies: Classical music imperiled by “vacuous celebrity culture”

Posted on: November 18, 2013

In Monday’s (11/18) Daily Mail (London), Anna Edwards writes that composer Peter Maxwell Davies is calling it “both ‘a disgrace’ and ‘a shock’ that so many youngsters had now never even heard of Mozart of Beethoven—let alone listened to their music. He blamed successive [British] governments for treating classical music as ‘an elitist fringe activity.… I plan to concentrate my time on helping to make classical music more accessible to young people…. There are hundreds of thousands of youngsters who now have never even heard of Mozart or Beethoven. … The same applies to Shakespeare and Dickens. … It has been shown time and again that learning to play a classical instrument—or sing—makes you … more confident and a better team player…. We are at a serious tipping point. We are in danger of centuries of learning being lost to the dubious influences of vacuous celebrity culture and inane talent shows.… I am furious that some [arts] councils think it is perfectly acceptable to charge for instrument tuition. It is not—they are shameless and are unnecessarily limiting the life chances of those who can least afford it.”

Posted November 18, 2013