BBC News Online entertainment staff
is currently touring the United States
artists and compilations albums have boosted classical
music sales, changing the face of the classical charts.
BBC News Online looks at how the classical genre has evolved.
the chart-topping classical albums of recent years and
you are unlikely to spot many orchestral recordings of
core classical works.
the chart is flooded with contemporary stars like Charlotte
Church, Hayley Westenra and Bryn Terfel.
between them you will usually find several compilation
albums inviting you to 'relax' or 'chill out' to a series
of popular classical melodies.
has been a definite trend towards classical crossover
music in the last few years," says Matt Phillips,
a spokesman for the British Phonographic Industry.
is it the quality of the music or the powerful thrust
of modern marketing that accounts for the genre's burgeoning
success since the 1990s?
Cowan, product manager for Sony Classical, whose artists
include Charlotte Church and Vanessa Mae, believes the
fortunes of such artists is "generally well deserved".
he admits that good PR has played an important role.
many recent media success stories, he claims it is the
accessibility of the artist that sells.
Church is experimenting with new musical styles
buying into a lifestyle, it's a desirable product,"
says Mr Cowan. "What we're always trying to do is
reach these people that wouldn't buy a classical album
Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry,
agrees. "In 2003 the classical record industry bounced
back with a whole range of exciting artists and innovative
compilations which brought classical music to new audiences."
between 2002 and 2003, turnover increased by £5m
has the sales success been limited to major labels promoting
crossover artists. Independent label Chandos Records,
whose latest releases include Yoshimatsu's cello concerto,
has also enjoyed a growth in sales.
lot of people in the recording industry are crossover
stars now and we're not in a financial position to do
the kind of PR that goes with it, " said a spokeswoman
like a chicken and egg situation - if you get the artist
you have to spend the money and if you don't spend the
money, you don't get the artist."
Chandos feels it is not losing out to the major record
companies because the crossover and core markets are separate.
doesn't affect our sales. We're not in the same market
- people know what we do and they buy it, if that's what
they want," she says.
star Terfel is nominated for two classical Brits
Lewis, managing director and programme controller of radio
station Classic FM, believes classical music is increasingly
enjoyed by a broad spectrum of music-lovers.
FM has a very mixed audience from connoisseurs to people
who have only recently discovered classical music - we
are passionate about engaging our audience and inviting
them to join us on a voyage of discovery," he says.
while he is pleased the crossover trend is bringing classical
music to a new audience, he is keen to point out that
the traditional genre is vital.
albums are an entry point for a new audience into classical
music and have been instrumental in helping people engage
in the genre," adds Mr Lewis.
record sales are only one of a number of barometers you
can use to measure activity within classical music.
think the trend is returning to core artists - reflected
by some of those nominated for the Classical Brits - BrynTerfel,
Sir Simon Rattle, Cecilia Bartoli and Phillip Glass."
his inclusion of Terfel - a Welsh bass-baritone, whose
latest album went platinum - demonstrates that one person's
classical performer is another's modern crossover artist.
your opinion, the future of classical music looks bright.
thanks to Roger Mansbridge