What were the biggest trends in classical music in 2014?
Conductors are getting younger and there still aren’t enough leading women, says Bachtrack's report
At the beginning of this week, classical music events database Bachtrack released its annual report on trends in concert halls worldwide.
The report and accompanying infographic, published on Monday 5 January, led with the claim that conductors are getting younger, using statistics gleaned from over 25,000 events listings. These showed that the average age of the most in-demand condutors in 2014 fell, with three of them just in their 30s. The busiest conductor in 2014 according to the report was Andris Nelsons, who is 36, and the youngest of the top conductors in the list is Gustavo Dudamel at just 33.
Bachtrack's report also shows that American orchestras were the busiest in 2014, with San Francisco Symphony performing the most concerts, followed by New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Berlin Philharmonic was reported as the sixth busiest orchestra in the world, with the London Symphony Orchestra named the ninth busiest.
As well as performers, Bachtrack also reports statistics about composers. They have found that concert halls around the world programmed more music from the late 19th to early 20th-centuries in 2014 than ever before. In opera, the most performed composers in 2014 are cited as Verdi, Puccini and Mozart (in that order), with Rossini, Wagner and Bizet following these.
Staying with opera, the report claims that Puccini's La bohème was the most performed opera of the year while the busiest opera company was Vienna State Opera, which beat the New York Met narrowly. Perhaps not surprisingly, eight out of ten of the operas performed in 2014 were in Italian.
Another trend that is perhaps not surprising is that in Bachtrack’s list of the 150 busiest conductors, only five are women: Marin Alsop, Xian Zhang, Simone Young, Jane Glover and JoAnn Falletta.
It's a similar story for female compoosers, with the top five – Sofia Gubaidulina, Clara Schumann, Kaija Saariaho, Judith Weir and Sally Beamish – found far down the list of most performed composers in 2014, from number 132 onwards.