Is there any value in reaching a young audience?

Is there any value in reaching a young audience?


norman lebrecht

November 15, 2014

Bernie Ecclestone of Formula-1 thinks not.

Our other sponsor is UBS – these kids don’t care about banking. They haven’t got enough money to put in the bloody banks, anyway… I’d rather get to the 70 year-old guy who’s got plenty of cash.

Read here.

Anyone in classical music dare to agree?




  • SVM says:

    I completely agree with his point about young audiences, not only inasmuch as they have no money (which, as a twentysomething myself, I can attest to be true), but also inasmuch as the tastes of any given young person will continue to change over the coming decades. His point about ‘accessibility’ is also highly applicable to music (having said that, I also strongly feel that *public* funding should be available to enable aspiring musicians of great promise to undertake élite training).

  • Ben Tenuto says:

    Bernie is completely wrong!!
    I became a classical music fan at the age of 7, when my parents began taking me to concerts tailored for children regularly. I learned the names and music of many of the great composers, conductors and soloists at a very young age, and my love of music will remain throughout my lifetime.
    At about the same age I became a Formula 1 addict. When I was bored at school, I would often draw circuit diagrams from memory, and knew who Colin Chapman, Jim Clark and Denny Hulme were at the same time I learned who Zubin Mehta and Leonard Bernstein were.
    Our two children attend concerts, and have a growing interest in classical music. They also follow F1 religiously, and will tell any one who listens that it is time for Bernie to retire.

  • Jorge Grundman says:

    In pursuit of the humankind is our responsibility to educate the forthcoming generations. It is not a matter of a profit business.

    So regarding the question, the answer for me is YES. If you sow the best seeds….

  • Mike Schachter says:

    A very interesting question. I go frequently to chamber music concerts at the Wigmore Hall. I am in my mid-60s and may well be below the average age of the audience. Does this mean that when this generation disappears so will the audience for chamber music? Or is chamber music something that appeals in late middle age and beyond? At the same time we have a wonderful supply of string quartets in their 20s and 30s. What one wonders do they listen to away from work?

  • soothsayer says:

    He’s missed the point… interesting the young in the arts IS exactly how you get the 70 guy with the money.

    They grow up.

  • Chris says:

    A few things.
    Life expectancy today is higher than ever.
    Retirement age is still in the early to mid 60s.
    Interest in the higher arts is something that develops in many people over a lifetime.
    The older generation has most of the money, the younger ones are in debt…
    That means that naturally the older people have more time, interest and money than ever to go to classical concerts.
    I’m not too worried, as long as the pricing of tickets still allows younger people to attend.