I am a European. My ancestors came from mainland Europe and we feel very at home across the continent. David spent Thursday campaigning for Remain, and on Friday when we awoke and saw the Leave result, we were in shock. We grieved all day, as if for the death of a close family member, we talked with friends and family all weekend until we had no words left unsaid and then on Monday we went back to work.

David and I launched the Bachtrack site in January 2008 and from early on I wanted to break down the barriers between countries by bringing knowledge of classical music and opera from every country onto our site. The people to whom I speak are from all over the continent of Europe. Once I dared begin calling them again this week, I was staggered to discover that instead of being met by contempt, I found that they had immense compassion for the UK’s situation with a general sense of “don’t worry, it won’t make that much difference in the long run”.

I wish I shared their confidence. This is a very difficult time for us. Assuming that Article 50 is triggered, if new agreements aren’t in place by the time our 2 year transition period runs out, tariffs could make our business unsustainable from the UK, which has always been my home.

© Pete Linforth | Pixabay

I know of countless collaborations involving English promoters and their European counterparts, from REMA (the early music association) to Opera Europa. Just the other day, I introduced a Finnish festival to one based in Wales because I felt the artistic directors shared common views of the music they produce and that they would both benefit from the conversation. And that’s what it is about. No one in the classical music industry expects to become a millionaire; we all work in this field because we’re passionate about it and want to help artists bring their art to a wider public. We need the enlarged market the EU offers to make it sustainable. I know orchestras in Spain and Bulgaria who need to bring players from overseas to fill their orchestras' vacancies, but now no one knows if these cross border movements by young British musicians can continue.

It’s been proved many times and in diverse situations that cultural exchanges reduce racism and the fear which often accompanies it, so we must not give up hope of building bridges between countries and working together across borders. It may take longer, be more complicated and even become more expensive to achieve the European “common market” that our children want and deserve, but it will happen nonetheless. With the advent of the internet, globalisation is unstoppable.

My feeling is one of deep anger at the loss of our own and our collective children’s near term prospects – but I cannot let the reality of a presently fully-functioning European unit be beaten by one self serving ex-journalist who craves power. I am a European and I’m going to remain one. Somehow.

And no one can take that away from me.