November 2012: Philharmonia YouGov Survey

Classical music colours the lives of 8 in 10 people - Modern appeal of the great composers revealed - from concert hall to the gym, the motorway to the living room

Eight in ten British adults (80%) have a relationship with classical music every now and then – with more than two in five (42%) engaging with it beyond the concert hall - according to new YouGov research. The research also reveals that there is resurgent interest in the artform among the under-25 age group, dispelling notions that the great composers are the preserve of older people.

As the Philharmonia Orchestra embarks on its most ambitious season for decades, the Orchestra commissioned YouGov to ask a GB representative sample of 2,020 adults how they followed classical music in their everyday lives. Thinking about orchestral music, chamber or choral music, quartets and solo recitals, YouGov asked UK adults in which situation they would be inclined to listen to Classical music every now and then. The results show the wide ranging experiences people have with the artform.

  • The living room has overtaken the concert hall as the number one place to listen to classical music, with 43% of respondents saying they enjoy listening while they chill out at home. In contrast, 38% said they enjoyed classical music in the concert hall.
  • For around one in three people (35%) classical music is a quintessential part of a special occasion – and 33% said it is the music they associate with eating out at a restaurant.
  • The car is a new concert hall for many people, 34% claiming it is a musical choice that colours their journey when driving from A to B.
  • Around one in four people listen to classical music whilst reading (23%), rising to 30% with 18 to 24 year olds and 29% with full-time students.
  • Travelling on public transport, going on a date or to a dinner party and whilst working are everyday situations in which around one in every five people listen to classical music. 18 to 24 year olds and full-time students again account for the peaks with 23% and 28% respectively listening to music whilst travelling, 25% and 31% when on a date or at a dinner party.
  • Full-time students also lead the way on the exercise front, with 17% of them listening to classical music whilst exercising.

Where and when people listen to classical music

  1. Relaxing/‘chilling out’ at home 43%
  2. While in a concert hall 38%
  3. At a special occasion 35%
  4. While driving/on a car journey 34%
  5. When eating out 33%
  6. While reading 23%
  7. Travelling on public transport or on a flight 18%
  8. When on a date/at a dinner party 17%
  9. When working 16%
  10. While exercising 8%

Alice Walton, Marketing Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra commented:
“These are myth-busting figures, showing that the great composers have importance and relevance in people’s everyday lives. At a time when people lead hectic lives, many people want to engage with music on their own terms. Given more than two in five people are engaging with classical music outside the concert hall, the Philharmonia Orchestra is engaging new audiences in a range of new ways; online, through our pioneering community programmes, free digital installations and recording for films, CDs and computer games. This season an audience of more than 300,000 people will engage with us through 150 concerts and two digital installations across 50 cities and three continents, and many thousands more online. ”