TikTok has announced the return of its #ClassicalMusic challenge. This time around, organist Anna Lapwood will be the featured artist of #ClassicalMusic. The move was announced in advance of her performance with the BBC Proms on July 25 at Royal Albert Hall (and its 9,999 pipes).
Classical music has steadily been making inroads in terms of finding Gen-Z listeners on the popular short video platform. In July 2022, TikTok and Warner Classics teamed up to release an album, TikTok Classics — Memes & Viral Hits, with 18 popular tracks from the platform.
The TikTok Effect
Lapwood is already a bona fide TikTok star with more than 550K followers. The Sony Classical artist’s June video of Hans Zimmer’s score for the movie Interstellar has garnered 4 million views.
She commented in a statement. “One of my favourite things about TikTok is how it helps smash down perceived barriers between different genres. Since I started using TikTok I’ve worked with so many people from all sorts of musical backgrounds and realised what a glorious tool collaboration can be to bring classical music to a new audience. TikTok has really blown open my whole musical world and I can’t wait to see what collaboration the world throws at me next!”
Naturally, the BBC Proms is hoping for an expanded audience base.
Career opportunities outside the world of social media have been launched on the platform. Violinist Esther Abrami was named ‘Best Influential Star’ by Forbes Magazine in 2019 (and whose TikTok videos have currently amassed more than 107 million views). It led to live performances with the English Symphony Orchestra, among others.
It’s a phenomenon that extends to any genre of music. The majority of hit pop singles released today aim for a viral moment on TikTok, and many succeed.
Yes i did nearly forget to play at the start 😂 #classicalmusic #newmusic #filmmusic #peterpan #jamesnewtonhoward #organtok #organ #organist #peterpan2003 #idobelieveinfairies #music #musician #recording #multitrack #jamesnewtonhoward
#ClassicalMusic trended in November 2021 with more than 745 million views. TikTok launched it as a challenge a year later with even more success.
TikTok began to promote #ClassicalMusic in early November 2022 in partnership with legendary music composer (and TikTok fave) Hans Zimmer. After the release of Dune, Zimmer challenged TikTokers to create a #DuneMovieDuet, where they played with his music video of the song Paul’s Dream. The November 2022 launch included Zimmer’s playlist, featuring scores from The Lion King and his other iconic scores, along with music that has inspired him.
Zimmer commented in a statement, “I’ve always believed that the next generation has an extraordinary creative voice and I’ve been fortunate enough to witness and experience this throughout my career. I’m thrilled to launch this playlist of specially curated songs on TikTok. I hope people will use the playlist to create content that inspires another generation of artists to continue evoking emotion through music.”
The goal of the launch, to create a tsumani of classical music videos featuring the hashtag, including performances, composition, or just practising, and dually, to expose that work to viewers, worked like a charm. #ClassicalMusic quickly racked up more than 2 billion views from its November 2022 promotion, and led to a breakout track by pianist and composer Dorian Marko.
Altogether, the campaigns have generated more than 4.3 billion views for #ClassicalMusic, and has included participation by high profile artists such as Lang Lang and Andrew Lloyd Webber, among others.
Speaking on the launch of #ClassicalMusic, Lisa Skeppner, Music Partnerships at TikTok, commented in a statement.
“We are committed to shining a light on diverse genres, celebrating the arts, and introducing new generations to classical sounds. TikTok breathes new life into classical music, allowing creators all over the world to discover tracks they might not have otherwise heard. We’re proud to be a home for classical stars like Anna Lapwood and delighted to be working with the Proms to bring the TikTok community closer to the treasured classical festival.”
Long live #ClassicalMusic.
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