Room for Activities from the series Assembly of Arenas by artist Elia Bosshard
Room for Activities from the series Assembly of Arenas by artist Elia Bosshard

The Big C Word

Why are we so silent on questions of class in classical music? Composer, sound-artist and researcher James Hazelinvestigates why classical music and the high arts are so inhospitable to people from the working-class in Australia – a country that considers itself a classless society where everyone has “a fair go”.

As a composer from a working-class background, I am deeply interested in how forms of socioeconomic stratification and disadvantage affect the ways in which certain groups gain access to music and arts culture. My own music education was...