Pianist Stephen Hough nails it in his Telegraph blog, warning us not to overlook the elderly generation for whom the classical music world is important.
I’ve been playing professionally for over thirty years now and there’s always been a sea of grey beyond the footlights. So what? A new grey has replaced the old grey. In the leisure of retirement or in the freedom from the responsibility of looking after children people can finally find the time to go to concerts. This is not in any way to discourage young people from loving classical music and from joining us in the concert halls. In Asian countries especially it’s thrilling to see large numbers of students at concerts, clutching scores and taking photographs, and for the young of all nations there should be as much education, encouragement, accessibility and affordability as possible. But not at the expense of making our old people feel less welcome, as if we only tolerate them because we can’t attract a younger, hipper audience.
The next time I see him, I’m giving The Hough a massive hug. Li’l smasher.