A groundswell of classical musicians are using their talents to support social and environmental causes they believe in. Most recently, the stories of bushfire relief concerts abound, around Australia and beyond.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Photo courtesy of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Traditionally, it has been professionally dangerous for Australian artists to speak out about social or environmental issues, for fear of disrupting relationships with a limited number of major arts employers. But arts organisations are necessarily abandoning outdated hierarchical organisational and cultural practices. The cultural revolution unfolding within the performing arts is changing how artists engage with each other and their audience.

Arts folks are now more willing than ever to walk in their own skins, share their personal opinions and actively collaborate and contribute to causes they believe in. And what’s more, audiences are loving it. This more dynamic, responsive, artist-led landscape is leading traditional arts organisations to seek out artists who have dynamic, personality-meets-artistry relationships with their audience. The shift toward courageous, value-led, creative output replete with personal opinions on display won’t be unwound.

Back to the absolute hero of this story – the individual working so hard in classical music, including musicians, programmers,...