I am a 33-year-old classical music critic. In my 25 years of going to concerts (and since my 20s, writing about them), I am almost always the youngest person in the audience. Everywhere I go, from Bournemouth to Inverness, concert halls and opera houses resemble conventions for the blue-rinse brigade. Another thing: I've noticed that bus and train stations now pipe canned classical music, day-in, day-out, through their speakers as a way of stopping young people hanging around. So toxic have the associations become, that this experiment actually works: there is evidence that playing Beethoven and Mahler has reduced antisocial behaviour on the transport network. An entire generation, aged between 10 and 30, seems radically disenfranchised from classical music. How, and when, did this happen?
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