Latest Issue

Beyond outreach: inside the fight for classical music’s future

From Ibiza Proms to Tiny Tots concerts, classical music is trying to broaden its appeal. But does it risk losing what makes it special?

By Suna Erdem   March 2018

"Outreach" can be a double-edged sword. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Michael Reeve

One drizzly evening last autumn, Ed Gardner and I were stomping our feet and slapping our thighs in a Croydon hall. We were doing body percussion with teenage refugees. At one point Gardner, one of Britain’s most eminent conductors, was tasked with counting in our group. “No pressure, eh?” he laughed, counting to four before we started to move.

We were being led by an 18-year-old Somali who had fled conflict in his homeland, and would not have looked out…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect