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March 8th 2004 - UK PRESS RELEASE


Monday 8th March 2004 - The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) announce today that classical music sales have enjoyed an increase in 2003 according to final year-end figures. The best selling classical album of the year was Pure by Hayley Westenra, the 16 year-old New Zealand singing sensation signed by Decca.

Since its release in 2003 Hayley Westenra's debut international album Pure has sold over 1 million copies and is still to be released in 80% of the world. The album turned 10x Platinum in Hayley's native country New Zealand (making her the fastest selling local artist of all time), Platinum in Australia, Gold in Singapore and Hong Kong and 2x Platinum in the UK. Hayley has now become the fastest-selling classical artist in U.K history. President of the Decca Music Group, Costa Pilavachi says " The success of Hayley Westenra has been phenomenal. It has been fantastic to see such a talent being embraced by the classical and pop worlds alike. It's a real achievement for us".

In 2004 the Decca Music Group celebrates the 75th anniversary of its first recordings which will be marked by a number of exciting new releases. This includes a new album by the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, a collection of Handel arias by the soprano superstar Renée Fleming, a third album of Great Tenor Arias by the Peruvian Juan Diego Flôrez, and the second album by the Dutch violinist Janine Jansen of "Vivaldi's Four Seasons". Following on from Cecilia Bartoli's highly acclaimed Salieri album, which became the best-selling core classical album of 2003 in the UK, Decca will be releasing Cecilia Bartoli The DVD collection. A 3 DVD box-set comprising of the original and unique ‘Portrait’ documentary, filmed at the outset of her career, plus Cecilia’s acclaimed 1998 recital with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at Vicenza’s Teatro Olimpico, and her definitive interpretation of Rossini’s Cinderella.

On the crossover side, Decca Music Group sees the return of Bond, the best-selling classical string quartet of all time, who will release their new album Classified in June 2004. The Manchester based violin duo Duel, discovered by legendary producer Pete Waterman, will continue to promote their debut release, and Dominic Miller, Sting's legendary guitarist, will release his debut classical album Shapes. The Hayley Westenra phenomenon is set to continue with the release of Pure in the USA and Canada in April 2004.

See Also: HWI coverage of the BPI article from yesterday 20040308 HERE


Info thanks to Keith S.
Updated : August 6, 2004 0:17

Information direct from Hayley's official website. Not for reproduction without permission.


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