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Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024 reveals its winners

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Classic FM Hall of Fame 2024 reveals its winners

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 is the nation’s favourite piece of classical music, according to the Classic FM Hall of Fame…

The findings come from the world’s largest annual poll of classical music tastes by Global. More than 100,000 votes were cast by the public in this year’s chart. The top 300 pieces of classical music were played on Classic FM across the Easter weekend, with the new number one revealed by presenter Dan Walker just before 9 pm yesterday.

Dan Walker, presenter of Classic FM Breakfast:

“The Classic FM Hall of Fame always gives us a window into our taste in music and 2024 is no different. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 is an enduring and powerful piece, and remains the nation’s favourite.”

While Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 has always been a popular choice with the public, this is the second year in a row that it’s number one, and the tenth time since the poll was launched in 1996. Rachmaninov finished composing the music in 1901, after he overcame depression, and dedicated the piece to his doctor, Nikolai Dahl, who helped him through that period of his life. It has been back in the news recently, following the death of singer-songwriter Eric Carmen last month, who sampled part of the melody from Rachmaninov’s piece in his smash hit song, All By Myself.

2024 is another record year for movie music, with popularity for film scores at an all-time high. In total, 39 film scores appear in this year’s chart – representing 13% of the music – and the number of scores has increased every year since 2016. This compares to the first ever Classic FM Hall of Fame, 28 years ago, when there were just two film entries.

The number one film score is John Williams’ haunting soundtrack to Schindler’s List, at number 10. Williams, the composer behind iconic movie themes such as Star Wars (number 40), Jurassic Park (45) and Harry Potter (57), remains the most popular living composer, with seven entries. Hans Zimmer, who wrote Gladiator (43) and Interstellar (108) has six entries, while composer Debbie Wiseman has four entries, including her score to the film Wilde at number 198, up 92 places from last year.

The legendary Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins, who celebrated his 80th birthday in February, enjoys his best-ever year in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, with four entries, all up on their 2023 places. He is the most popular living British composer, an accolade he shares with Debbie Wiseman. Two of Jenkins’ pieces have reached their highest positions – The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (4) and Palladio (64). Wiseman’s highest entry is The Glorious Garden at number 19.

Mozart retains his crown as the nation’s most popular composer, with 13 entries in total, followed by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky with 11 each, and Bach with nine pieces.

Dan Walker, presenter of Classic FM Breakfast:

“The increasing popularity of movie music is one of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the past 28 years of the chart and this time we have an all-time record of 39 entries, led by the legendary John Williams. We should also congratulate Sir Karl Jenkins and Debbie Wiseman on being recognised as the most popular living British composers.”

The full Classic FM Hall of Fame countdown is now available on catch-up on Global Player – the official Classic FM app.

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