Introducing a new, regular feature – a summary of stories from the last month about the musical world…

  • David Pickard, director of the BBC Proms will leave his post after next summer’s classical music festival. He will have planned and delivered nine Proms seasons and says: ‘It has been an immense honour and privilege to run the world’s greatest classical music festival alongside an incredible team, working with many of the most exciting orchestras, musicians and artists on the planet.’ 
  • Concerns have been raised about the increasing lack of funding support for the arts from the UK government. In particular the sector has been critical of the Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement and the absence of long-term plan for the creative industries. Also, several arts charities have been forced to merge due to the loss of ACE funding. 
  • A report by Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union has found that 30% of UK musicians, rising to 41% for music students experience negative mental wellbeing. The average of low mental wellbeing in classical music was 29%. Evidence suggests that they are much more likely to leave the music industry over time. 
  • Another startling statistic is contained in The Musicians’ Census which reveals that a third of UK musicians earn less than £14k. According to the report, the average annual income for UK musicians is just £20,700, with 43% making less than £14,000 a year.