busker up for classical Brit awards
Ciar Byrne, Media Correspondent
New Zealander described as "the new Charlotte Church"
is poised for success at the classical Brits after being nominated
for two of the top awards.
Westenra is in the running for female artist of the year and
for best album, Pure , which has sold more than 700,000 copies.
Pure soared to the top of the British charts last year, beating
Church's previous record for the fastest-selling classical
album in the UK.
musical career began at 11 when she and her little sister
went busking on the streets of her native Christchurch and
raised enough money to pay for a recording session at a local
was signed up by the music giant Universal after her parents
made 1,000 copies of a demo CD and sent it out to record labels.
Decca Music Group have since signed her up in a worldwide
deal, and she has performed live at Wembley with tenor Russell
Watson. Westenra has declared herself "baffled"
by charges that increasing numbers of attractive young female
artists have "dumbed down" the classical music recording
industry. The classical Brits have come under fire in previous
years for being too influenced by pop and rock concerts, with
performances from the OperaBabes in 2002, and from the female
crossover quartet Bond last year. The classical singer Renée
Fleming, who recorded two songs for the soundtrack of The
Lord of the Rings , will be presented with an award for her
outstanding contribution to music at the ceremony on 26 May,
which will be hosted by the ITN newsreader Katie Derham.
Klass, who started out as a contestant on Pop Stars , has
been nominated for best album for Moving On .
Garrett's So Deep Is The Night , Luciano Pavarotti's Ti Adoro
and Aled Jones's Higher are also on the shortlist for album
of the year, which will be chosen by Classic FM listeners.
Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, who was voted most
popular classical performer at last year's Gramophone Awards,
will contend with Westenra for the title of best female artist.
link thanks to Jon Voslo
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