How to attract a younger audience for classical concerts

Orchestras are pulling out all the stops to attract a new - and younger - audience. What works and what does not help at all? Merel Vercammen, a violinist herself and alumna Cultural Economics & Entrepreneurship, wrote her master thesis about this topic. Radio 4 invited her to speak about her findings.

80 percent of the visitors of classical concerts is older than 45 years. Vercammen therefore studied how orchestras can attract a younger audience.

Many youngsters think classical concerts last too long, or are afraid they will not understand what the piece is about. Still, some shows do attract younger listeners. For example, Pieces of Tomorrow in Tivoli (Utrecht), or Sleep by Max Richter. Even though the latter lasts 8 hours, the show was rapidly sold out. According to Vercammen, the success of these shows can be explained by their informal way of presentation. 

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