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New survey reveals majority of UK audiences turn to classical music for life’s big moments

The ABO and its 200 member organisations, alongside Classic FM, Classical Music Magazine, LIVE, UK Music, the Musicians’ Union and the Independent Society of Musicians, today launch a major three-year campaign to celebrate the power and value of classical music and the UK’s orchestras.

A new survey conducted by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) has shown that members of the public believe that orchestras have an important role to play in the cultural life of  the UK, with 74% saying that orchestras are a vital part of its cultural heritage.

The results are revealed as orchestras across the country join forces to launch a bold nationwide campaign to celebrate the value and power of connection that classical music brings to the UK.

Along with campaign partners Classic FM, Classical Music Magazine, LIVE, UK Music, the Musicians’ Union (MU) and the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM), the ABO and UK orchestras member orchestras will share – and 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 a new survey of 2,000 UK adults released today by the ABO, 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 adults from 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.

See more from the ABO's campaign on their website and social media: @aborchestras on Instagram, X and Facebook, with the hashtag #MusicThatMovesYou.

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