Brexit has delivered a boost to British composers, Classic FM poll shows

Telegraph Reporters
British composers have risen in the Classic FM poll - Reuters

British composers are enjoying a boost in popularity amid the ongoing debate over Brexit, a Classic FM survey has suggested.

An annual survey by the commercial radio station identified a “surge in the popularity of British classical music” with Sir Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams reaching a record high in its annual Hall of Fame.

The study, in its 24th year, is compiled from 110,000 votes and produces a list of the 300 most popular songs from Classic FM listeners. Elgar has this year appeared ten times, with four pieces reaching their highest places including Enigma Variations at number three.

His Pomp and Circumstance Marches, which features ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, has jumped nine places to number 25.

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending rises two places this year to regain the title of “the nation’s most popular piece of classical music”, beating Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture reached number one for the first time last year.

Edward Elgar

Anne-Marie Minhall, Classic FM presenter, said: “Over the past few years, there has been so much talk about what it means to be British and who we are as a nation.

“Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, how encouraging that the country has come together to celebrate some of the world’s greatest classical music that’s been created on our shores.

“From the all-time greats including Sir Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams to contemporary composers such as Sir Karl Jenkins and Debbie Wiseman, what has united us is the beauty and power of classical music.”

The 300 pieces of music in the Classic FM Hall of Fame were played by the station in a chart run-down over the Easter weekend.