EMI Classics swept the board at the 8th annual Classical Brit Awards which took place at the Royal Albert Hall last night, demonstrating EMI’s commitment to core classical music.
Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker took the award for Classical Recording of the Year for Holst The Planets. Sir Simon’s acceptance speech engaged the crowd and was another reminder of why he is recognised the world over as such an outstanding ambassador for music.
Leif Ove Andsnes took Instrumentalist of the Year for Horizons, the second year in a row he has received this award.
George Fenton took Soundtrack Composer of the Year for Planet Earth.
Album of the Year, the only award voted for by the general public, went to Paul McCartney and Ecce Cor Meum. On collecting his award Sir Paul said “If you’d told me when I was a little boy growing up in Liverpool I’d be at the Albert Hall receiving this, I wouldn’t have believed you. How proud my mum and dad would have been.”
Dr Vernon Handley was accompanied on stage by the Duchess of Cornwall to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. For more than 40 years he has distinguished himself as a champion of British classical music.
Following her Young British Performer Award in 2005, cellist Natalie Clein made her Brit awards performance debut with the adagio from Elgar’s Cello Concerto to celebrate the composer’s 150th anniversary of his birth. Also making their Brit Award debuts were soprano Natasha Marsh and tenor Alfie Boe. Vernon Handley closed the show conducting the fourth movement of Beethoven’s symphony No. 7.
The ceremony was recorded for broadcast by ITV1 on 13 May with a repeat on 20 May on ITV3. Congratulations to all our winners and performers!