Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

About May 1, 2010

Tuning the Concert

A Gold Arts Award Portfolio

My Gold Arts Award focuses on the issue of How to transform the conventional classical concert experience to make it more engaging for a wider audience?

Having played the cello for over a decade and played in countless concerts I have to admit that I rarely go and listen to a concert. If I don’t go to concerts who does?

It’s hard to persuade my friends to come – they say they don’t know anything about classical music and it’s not their thing. After dragging my boyfriend along to a few FREE concerts, he is not quite so apprehensive but still would rather go to another sort of event. Even my parents rarely go to a concert and my sister says she doesn’t really like classical music. The only personal acquaintances that I know who go to concerts are musicians who go to support other musicians or those who are literally dragged along by the musicians. The stereotypical audience for classical concerts seems to be the grey-haired educated middle-class.

Through my Gold Arts Award I hope to change my outlook as well as that of my friends and family so that classical concerts are something that I regularly look forward to attending.

This project throws up a wealth of further issues and questions that I look forward to addressing:

  • Is the concert experience worth saving?
  • Who attends classical concerts at the present?
  • What motivates us to attend arts events?
  • Why do classical concerts only appeal to a select audience?
  • How can we increase audience sizes for the future?
  • How do we engage the non-engaged?
  • How can we alter to concert experience?
  • How do we change peoples’ preconceptions about ‘classical music’?

Arts Award

Supporting young people to develop as artists and arts leaders

Our mission is to support young people who want to deepen their engagement with the arts, build creative and leadership skills, and to achieve a national qualification.

Through Arts Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, young people aged 11-25  can explore any of the art forms including performing arts, visual arts, literature, media and multimedia. The award builds confidence, helps young people to enjoy cultural activities, and prepares them for further education or employment.

Arts Award is run through a partnership between Arts Council England and Trinity Guildhall. This collaboration means we can support young people in their creative futures by using our extensive national network and resources to offer a respected Trinity College London qualification.

Since its launch in 2005, Arts Award has grown quickly and is now flourishing in arts centres, colleges and schools, community projects, libraries, galleries, local authorities, theatres, youth clubs and youth justice settings.



5 Responses to “About”

  1. philippa Says:

    are you going to present unit 2 on this blog as well? or just keep that as a seperate piece of work?

  2. Paul Boucher Says:

    But who are you?

    Excellent project. Bravo.

    • An anonymous arts administrator who wants the freedom to say what he/she pleases!

      However, if you would like a little background information: I did a music degree at Oxford University and since have been working for an orchestra. Looking at who went to their concerts I started to think whether this could be altered. I’ve managed to make small steps in developing family audiences but in general management don’t see anything wrong with the current format of concerts, as they have been doing it this way for the last decade….sigh! I am also an amateur cellist and a discriminating concert attendee. I’d rather go to a child’s concert then a conventional one.


      p.s. thanks for the comment.

      • Nargis Says:

        Hi AH

        We would like to profile your blog in the Arts Award London regional enews, but we can only profile the work that has been moderated. Could you please send me an e-mail to Nargis.Christopher@artsaward.org.uk with your full name so we can verify your award.

        We are not going to share your details with anyone and treat it as strictly confidential and will be able to link to your blog from our newsletter.

        Many thanks
        Nargis from Arts Award national team.
        0207 820 47 24

  3. Rosie Austin Says:

    Hi there – I’m involved in an exciting new charity called Vocal Futures which seeks to tackle the very issue you describe – our aims to increase young audiences (aged 16 – 22) for classical music through inspirational productions of great music in unusual spaces. We are staging the Matthew Passion next year in a vast concrete bunker, with an all star cast including Willard White and The OAE are the orchestra. Our induction programme for the 300 young people will run for 5 months leading up to the performance so that when they finally arrive at the performance, they will be ready for it. It would be great to chat more to you about your Arts Award project, and perhaps you’d be interested in hearing more about Vocal Futures. Get in touch!
    Thanks, Rosie x

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