By EWN • 04 January 2022 • 10:33
Photo Credit: Nadi Polack
According to recent research, a new generation of listeners is discovering classical music through a variety of mediums, with 48% of those under the age of 35 accessing classical music through classical interpretations and re-imaginings of contemporary songs, such as the Brooklyn Duo’s popular rendition of Taylor Swift’s Blank. Eminent figures have commented on this classical ‘renaissance’ and its links to online culture such as Oscar-winning film composer Alexandre Desplat, who has recently commented on how the appeal of classical music is “certainly expanding and resonating with a broader and younger audience”. The ease of discovery and connectivity provided by streaming is notorious, as well as how it is currently helping to boost the classical music industry.
Classical music and young listeners
Popular streaming service Deezer reported in March 2019 a 270% increase in the number of subscribers to its most popular classical music playlist, with millennials accounting for a whopping 43% of the new listeners. Young people seem to be increasingly seeking out classical music online to relax, focus, and revitalize, according to several recent studies. Technology is having a significant impact on how people access and consume music, with resources like Spotify, Deezer, BBC Sounds, Apple Music, or YouTube, which make their content instantly available. One of the classical musicians that have caught the attention of Millennials and Gen Zs is Spanish classical violinist Rebeca Nuez Suarez.
A promising career
This young artist made history in 2019 when her music video ‘The Furies’ was featured on Vevo, the world’s biggest music video and entertainment platform. With a fresh image and impactful performances, she appears to be committed to shifting outdated narratives and making classical music accessible to everyone. Her unaffected ways and recent videos are bound to bring fresh air to the classical scene, appealing to a wider range of people and particularly attracting a younger generation of listeners that have predominantly been unfamiliar with the classical music genre.
Rebeca Nuez Suarez was born into a musical household. She began her musical study with her father when she was three years old, and when she was six years old, her uncle gave her a violin, an instrument that she now dominates as a committed professional. She is regarded as a very promising young musician with an exciting way ahead on the international scene, which is not entirely surprising having attended some of the most prestigious music schools in the world. After finishing a Master program at the Royal College of Music, in London (in constant competition with the Juilliard School as the nr. 1 top music educational institution in the world), she is now a doctoral researcher at the also internationally renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama, also in London. Unlike one would expect from a top graduate from elite classical music institutions, she is known to project an inclusive, down-to-earth approach to music-making, openly admitting to admiring Beyonce and The Rolling Stones as much as she does Mozart or Beethoven.
In the realm of classical music, she has also expressed a certain preference for contemporary classical music and has remarked how privileged and enjoyable it is to collaborate with living composers. This is something sadly uncommon in the classical industry, as its most iconic and commonly performed composers have been gone for centuries. Only contemporary classical and film music offers this opportunity to performers, and it is a path that the young violinist has been keen to explore. In 2018, her collaboration with Spanish composer Laura Vega resulted in an unprecedented recording of Vega’s piece ‘Alone’ for violin solo, which was commercially released worldwide on all major digital platforms. Later recordings of Paganini, Ysaÿe, and Chopin would soon follow with equal global distribution.
Her comprehensive experience at educational institutions has made the violin virtuoso passionate about education itself, and she has expressed her desire to utilize her platform to push for the fight against educational injustice. Recognizing how being awarded a substantial scholarship allowed her to attend the Royal College of Music in London, she has expressed her gratitude for the opportunities she has had, referencing the huge role education plays in the making of talent. She has been vocal about the realities of many families of young musicians that cannot afford to consider higher education in the arts, leaving their talent underdeveloped and unnoticed, and has urged for change and improvement towards more substantial inclusivity in education.
It is evident that this young musician has already reached heights that most do not even get close to, standing as an example of how a passion can be turned into a career.
As for listeners, they may follow their own musical passions through the online cosmos with no restrictions thanks to Youtube, Vevo, or Spotify, which continue to contribute to the expanding younger market for classical music.
View the music video ‘The Furies’ here:
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