Contemporary classical in the U.K., gaining young listeners

Posted on: July 10, 2018

“More than 5,000 people have filled the Royal Albert Hall for an evening concert of instrumental music,” writes Michael Hann in Wednesday’s (7/4) Financial Times (London). “Almost all of them are young: twentysomethings and thirtysomethings in T-shirts and jeans. They are here for Ólafur Arnalds, a 31-year-old Icelander … perhaps best known for writing the music for the [U.K.] television series Broadchurch…. Arnalds … his German sometime collaborator Nils Frahm and the British-German composer Max Richter can all fill big venues…. The style of music that has been variously called neoclassical, new classical, indie classical and post-classical encompasses lush piano work, discordant orchestral composition, burbling electronics and numerous points in between.… The … music draws heavily from the kind of ethereal classical music that became increasingly popular in the 1990s and 2000s, first through Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, then [Arvo] Pärt’s later work…. ‘Some of it’s quite easy to listen to,’ says Eleanor Ward of Nonclassical, which releases what she calls ‘new classical experimental electronic music’ and puts on small-scale events in east London…. Young men and women [are] just waiting to storm the battlements, driven on not by fanfares, but by mournful piano music in the background.”

Posted July 10, 2018