Thursday 27th May, 2004_

News Menu Button Violinist named as top young classical performer


A BRITISH violinist who first performed on television at the age of ten was named as the top young classical performer yesterday at the age of 29.

Daniel Hope, who has been hailed as the most important British string player since the cellist Jacqueline du Pré, carried off the prize at the fifth annual Classical Brit Awards at the Albert Hall in London.

The Italian opera singer Cecilia Bartoli was named female artist of the year. Hayley Westenra, the teenage sensation from New Zealand, was one of the three nominees, but failed to win the title.

Top male artist of the year went to the Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel. The orchestral album of the year went to Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for Beethoven Symphonies.

The composer Phillip Glass’s soundtrack for the film The Hours won the contemporary music award.

The Classical Brit Awards, launched in 2000, have been cast as the classics’ answer to pop talent shows in the search for wider audiences for classical music. They will be broadcast on ITV this weekend.

Previous shows have seen dramatic boosts in the sales of featured performances.

The pop flavour of the evening was captured by the British rock violinist, Singapore-born Vanessa-Mae. The performance also featured Terfel and Renée Fleming singing their first duet, Bess, You Is My Woman Now, from Porgy and Bess, the Gershwin opera.

Fleming, whose recent UK concert tour included an appearance at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, won the Outstanding Contribution to Music award.

The violinist Nigel Kennedy, Westenra, the Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins, opera band Amici Forever and the King’s College Choir also performed. While Westenra failed to win as best female artist, her multi-million-selling album, Pure, was in contention for the best album of the year.

The awards, sponsored by National Savings & Investments, are decided by a jury of music industry representatives.


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Link thanks to Jon Voslo


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