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Long-term perspective needed on classical arts education

By Zhang Yuchen  (

09:25, March 12, 2013

A long-term perspective should be taken when teaching young people how to enjoy Shakespeare or classical music, which may be easier in the digital age, representatives from British cultural organizations said.

A delegation of representatives from the United Kingdom and China discussed art form innovation in the digital age, audience development and engagement and research at the Sino-UK Creative Economy forum, initiated by British Council and hosted in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong last week.

Richard Slaney, head of digital for the Philharmonia Orchestra in the UK, said every generation has its unique access to classical music.

"We take it (digital music) as another means rather than a replacement of traditional way," he said at Arts and Cultural Organisations in the Digital Age forum, hosted by the British Council and co-organized with the China Millennium Monument Museum of Digital Arts.

In the digital age, smaller organizations need more help to be visible for audiences. Jane Finnis, chief executive of Culture 24, said data from more than 5,000 events either provided to the BBC or other larger broadcasting organizations helped small galleries and local museums promote their exhibitions.

"Artists in the digital age need help with the online platform to make people know them," said Finnis, "but we should take it as a long game, with a good partnership."

Tim Wall, professor of Radio & Popular Music Studies, Birmingham City University, said more surveys should be conducted in terms of higher education institutions aiding small grassroots organizations creative areas.

Dai Qin from Douban Read and Yang Lei from CMoDA also shared their views on the Chinese online market and presented their recent digital work.

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