Where in Europe do people attend most classical concerts?

Where in Europe do people attend most classical concerts?


norman lebrecht

February 19, 2014

Not Germany.

Not Austria.

Not Holland.

A Eurobarometer survey asked: How many times in the last 12 months have you been to a concert?




The highest concert attendance was in Sweden, with 61 percent of respondents have been at least once. Next was Denmark.

Here’s our chart:

1 Sweden (61)

2 Denmark (60)

3 Latvia (55)

4 Estonia (54)

5 Austria (52)

= Luxembourg (52)

7 Lithuania (51)

= Netherlands (51)

9 Finland (47)

10 Germany (45)


The UK languishes with 36 percent. Portugal was bottom of the table with 19%, just below Poland and Greece.


  • Lisa Fogler says:

    When you say “classical concert”, are you referring to only professional orchestras? I’d like to see your data. What “respondents” are you referring to?

  • Do you know in which part of the table is Spain?

    • Well, not so far from UK….

      But the worst thing is see how the most europeans see expensive concert tickets…Do you know that in Spain you need to pay more taxes (VAT) to lbuy a CD to listen Beethoven’s 5th than to buy a newspaper or the last novel by…?

      And in your country?

      • Simon says:

        In Germany, reduced VAT (7%) apllies for books, newspapers and journals (pron excluded) as well as for theatre, opera and concert tickets. It das not apply for CDs, for which full VAT (i.e. 19%) applies.

  • Rosana Martins says:

    Amazing, Norman! The best (Sweden) only went to ONE concert in 12 months? How about France?

  • Lisa Fogler says:

    Sorry to be a party pooper but the survey doesn’t ask how many “Classical” concerts a European has been to but how many “concerts” in general. That can be any kind of concert (Rap, Techno, Big Band, My Little Pony). The reason that was given the most for not going to concerts was “lack of interest “followed closely by “too expensive” and “lack of time”. On the other, the answer given to whether they have gone to Ballet, Dance Performance, or Opera was the top thing people haven’t done in the last 12 months, followed by the Theater, and going to a Public Library. So concerts were 4th on the list and only slightly less popular than museum visits. Also, concerts were 6th on the list of “Lack of Interest” as being the reason for not attending, with only three options being more interesting. I don’t think from the data I saw one can draw a conclusion about Classical Music concerts, but one can clearly see that people really are not interested in spending money on going to ballets, operas or dance performances.

    • Martin says:

      Good work in finding the survey.

      It indeed states:

      “These respondents will have gone to a range of concerts including classical, folk, pop and rock.”

  • Observer says:

    I would also like to know about Spain.

    With 26 professional full time symphony orchestras, loads of visiting international soloists who sell out concert halls thruout the country, several internationally recognized choruses, who’ve sung with such orchs. as NY Phil,

    3 opera houses with nearly year round programming and much much more, I find it hard to believe that Spain is not even mentioned. I suspect it’s an oversight on the statisticians.

    Spain is passionate about classical music. Spaniards are ardent classical music consumers. I respectfully request a recalculation.

  • Wanderer says:

    As has been pointed out already, the title is wrong. This is not about classical concerts only, it is about all genres of music.