Classical music was the fastest growing genre in the UK in 2018, the UK recording industries figures show. Sales and streams increased by 10.2 percent compared with the previous year, pulling in front of a 5.7 percent increase in overall music consumption.

Streaming increased 42 percent year on year, with streaming now accounting for a quarter of classical music consumption – still well under the almost two thirds across all music consumption. CD sales of classical music even increased, by 6.9 percent defying a general trend away from physical formats. Digital downloads of albums fell by 13.4 percent – a dramatic drop but smaller than the 26 percent drop across the whole market.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, classical music Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Photo © Decca

While Andrea Bocelli’s Siand Aled Jones and Russell Watson’s In Harmonyled the charge as the top classical albums of 2018, newcomer cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason – who shot to international fame when he played at the royal wedding in 2018 – is right behind with his debut album  Inspirationand is one of several young artists making significant inroads into the streaming market.

“This is a dynamic moment in the history of Classical music, with brilliant new...

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