Taking place on 2 October at the Royal Albert Hall, The Classic BRIT Awards 2012 will be hosted by Myleene Klass and will feature spectacular performances from André Rieu, Nicola Benedetti and Andrea Bocelli. Hollywood legend John Williams’ Lifetime Achievement award will be celebrated by a visual and audio spectacular performed by the London Chamber Orchestra conducted by James Morgan. The orchestra will present a montage of John Williams’ towering body of film score epics such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Superman, ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Since Luciano Pavarotti first heard his voice two decades ago in 1992, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli has released 22 albums and has sold over 75 million records worldwide. Celebrating this 20th Anniversary the Classic BRIT Awards honour the celebrated opera star with a special award for International Artist of the Year. With two other nominations as Male Artist of the Year and Classic FM Album of the Year in association with MasterCard for ‘Concerto – One Night In Central Park’, Andrea Bocelli could steal the show with three awards.
With a new look and new black chrome statuette the Classic BRITs 2012 with MasterCard has also become the year for debut nominations, and not just one, but two debut nominations for 20 year-old classical pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, African-American tenor Noah Stewart, Welsh composer Paul Mealor and famed Italian soundtrack composer and conductor Ennio Morricone. Montenegrin classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić also receives two nominations.
For the first time in the history of the show, the Classic BRIT Awards 2012 will include the award for Classic BRITs Single of the Year in association with iTunes. A public voted award, the category celebrates the fact that during the past twelve months over one million classical singles have been downloaded in the UK. The category not only gives Paul Mealor his second nomination as the composer of ‘Wherever You Are’, but also presents the unique distinction of making the Military Wives and Gareth Malone the only group to ever be nominated for both a BRIT Award and a Classic BRIT Award. The nominations show the public’s enduring love for classic tracks such as ‘Nessun Dorma’, ‘Barber’s Adagio for Strings’, ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Jerusalem’ and also compositions made popular through film and TV including Hans Zimmer’s ‘Time’ from Inception and Klaus Badelt’s ‘He’s A Pirate’ from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. The nomination for Nessun Dorma performed by Luciano Pavorotti coincides with the 5th year anniversary of his death (6 September 2007). The ten nominations are completed by ‘I Giorni’ by Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi, ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ making the second nomination for Ennio Morricone, and the ever popular ‘Adiemus’.
With a nomination for Female Artist, British Violinist Nicola Benedetti completes an incredible year by becoming the UK’s most nominated female with her eighth Classic BRIT Award nomination. The category is completed with previous two-time winner of Female Artist, trumpeter Alison Balsom for the album ‘Seraph’ and the debut nomination for American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato with ‘Diva Divo – Opera Arias’.
Andrea Bocelli’s second potential award comes with a nomination in the Male Artist category. The hotly contested award also sees a debut nomination for Chinese pianist Lang Lang with the album ‘Liszt/My Piano Hero’ and honorary Liverpudlian, Vasily Petrenko the Russian conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Featuring three of the 2012 double nominees, MasterCard’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award is a true celebration of fresh success. Benjamin Grosvenor the former winner of the keyboard section of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2004 when he was just eleven, receives his first Classic BRIT nomination for ‘Benjamin Grosvenor Plays Chopin, Liszt & Ravel’. Fierce competition comes from New York born Noah Stewart whose album ‘Noah’ shot straight to number one on the UK Classical Album Chart and classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglić from Montenegro.
The nominations for the Composer Award give John Williams a real possibility to take away two awards on the night, for his work on two soundtracks; ‘War Horse’ and ‘The Adventures of Tintin’. The category is completed with the first of two debut nominations for Ennio Morricone for his ‘Paradiso’ album that featured Hayley Westenra, and also with the first of two debut nominations for Paul Mealor with his album ‘A Tender Light’.
This year’s Classic BRIT Critics’ Awards jury needed every ounce of their vast collective listening experience to measure and weigh the value of an extraordinary field of prize winning contenders. The final three included in the shortlist are albums that the jury felt people would be listening to for decades to come. The nominees are ‘Bruckner: Symphony No.9’ performed by Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Simon Rattle (his 14th Classic BRIT nomination, winning seven awards), ‘Chopin; Liszt; Ravel’ giving the second nomination for the 20-year-old pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and ‘Martinu: The Six Symphonies’ performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek.
Compiled from the ten biggest selling classical albums from the past year, the Classic FM Album of the Year with MasterCard* is the most sought after award on the night. Voted for by the British public via www.classicbrits.co.uk, the nominations are: André Rieu for ‘And The Waltz Goes On’, Andrea Bocelli’s chance for an award hatrick with ‘Concerto – One Night In Central Park’, the debut Classic BRIT nomination for Band of HM Royal Marines performing ‘Summon The Heroes’, the Band of the Coldstream Guards with the album ‘Pride of The Nation’, Craig Ogden’s ‘Summertime’, Hayley Westenra with the previously nominated ‘Paradiso’, another debut nomination for Laura Wright for her album ‘The Last Rose’, second nominations for Miloš Karadaglić and Noah Stewart with the albums “the Guitar’ and ‘Noah’ respectively and finally Russell Watson with his eighth Classic BRIT nomination for ‘Anthems’.
John Williams will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award. The gala evening will feature a spectacular salute to the work of one of the most prolific and globally recognised composers of all time. With work including Fiddler On The Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, Harry Potter and most recently War Horse, The Classic BRIT Awards 2012 with MasterCard will bring a touch of Hollywood to London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The nominations event at the Savoy Hotel held a surprise for the Classic FM team including station director Darren Henley, presenter John Suchet and even the nominations host Marhertia Taylor as they were presented with a unique Special Recognition Classic BRIT Award celebrating their 20th Anniversary and support for the Classic BRITs over the years.
Co-chairmen of The Classic BRIT Awards committee, Dickon Stainer, President of Decca Records and Barry McCann, Avie Records Director said: “This year’s Classic BRIT Awards continues to recognise and reward not only commercial success but excellence by performers and composers from both home and abroad. Whether from the concert platform, the musical stage or the big screen, audiences continue to be thrilled by the sheer power of emotion that only music can bring. The Classic BRIT Awards 2012 is proud to bring that joy and excitement to its awards”.
The Classic BRIT Awards plays a major role in supporting and nurturing talent in both the core and crossover classical world. The event was established in 2000 to honour and recognise all forms of classical music from contemporary to crossover, opera to soundtracks, traditional to theatre and has continued to evolve as classical music has once again become a major seller in the music world.
Tickets are on sale now and are available from the Royal Albert Hall box office on 020 7589 8212. Ranging from £20 to £287.50 for a full dinner/show experience, the Classic BRIT Awards remains one of the best value for money experiences on the classical calendar.
The Classic BRIT Awards 2012 with MasterCard will be broadcast on ITV1 in October.
* Classic FM Album of the Year in association with MasterCard has an eligibility period of 18 months due to the fact that the Classic BRIT Awards 2011 took place in May 2011. Voting ends at 6:00pm on Friday 21 September.
- Alison Balsom
- Joyce DiDonato
Diva Divo — Opera Arias
- Nicola Benedetti
- Andrea Bocelli
Concerto — One Night In Central Park
- Lang Lang
Liszt — My Piano Hero
- Vasily Petrenko
Shostakovich/Symphony No. 1 & 3
Shostakovich/Symphony No. 6 & 12
Shostakovich/Symphony No. 2 & 15
Rachmaninov/Piano Concertos 1 & 4
Rachmaninov/Symphony No. 3
MasterCard's Breakthrough Artist Of The Year Award
- Benjamin Grosvenor
Benjamin Grosvenor Plays Chopin, Liszt & Ravel
- Miloš Karadaglić
- Noah Stewart
- Ennio Morricone
- John Williams
War Horse/The Adventures Of TinTin
- Paul Mealor
A Tender Light
Classic BRITs Single Of The Year in association with iTunes
- Royal Choral Society, BBC Concert Orchestra/Wordsworth
- Della Jones, Royal Choral Society, BBC Concert Orchestra/Wordsworth
- Ennio Morricone
Gabriel's Oboe (The Mission — OST)
- Hans Zimmer
Time (Inception — OST)
- Karl Jenkins
- Klaus Badelt
He's a Pirate (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl — OST)
Walt Disney Records/EMI Records
- London Philharmonic Orchestra/Parry
Adagio for Strings (Barber)
- Luciano Pavarotti
- Ludovico Einaudi
- Military Wives/Gareth Malone
Wherever You Are
- Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle [Click here for Classical Source's review]
Bruckner Symphony No.9
- Benjamin Grosvenor [Click here for Classical Source's review]
- BBC Symphony Orchestra/Belohlavek [Click here for Classical Source's review]
Martinu: The 6 Symphonies
Classic FM Album Of The Year in association with MasterCard
- André Rieu
And The Waltz Goes On
- Andrea Bocelli
Concerto — One Night In Central Park
- Band Of HM Royal Marines
Summon The Heroes
- Band Of The Coldstream Guards
Pride Of The Nation
- Craig Ogden
- Hayley Westenra
- Laura Wright
The Last Rose
- Miloš Karadaglić
- Noah Stewart
- Russell Watson
International Artist Of The Year in association with Raymond Weil