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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Bond quartet hit US high note
The quartet are classically trained
Hit female string quartet Bond have reached the top of the US classical album charts - despite still being blacklisted from the UK chart.

In the UK the group was ineligible for the classical rundown because its material was deemed too much like pop music.

It saddens us that in our home country we are having to fight elitist attitudes to our music

Haylie Ecker
However Bond have been lined up to perform at the Classical Brit Awards on 31 May.

The quartet have now topped the classical charts in 10 countries and sold more than quarter of a million copies of their debut Born since its release last year.

The four Bond members are Australians Haylie Ecker from Perth and Tania Davis from Sydney, Eos Chater comes from Cardiff, Wales, and Gay-Yee Westerhoff on cello originates from Hull.

"We are very proud of our achievements during the last few months, and we are very excited about the US number one," said lead violinist Ecker.

"But it saddens us that in our home country we are having to fight elitist attitudes to our music. All we want to do is break down musical barriers and glass ceilings."

Dance beats

The Born album has only just been released in the US. The band performed to Wall Street traders on a promotional visit.

Bond initially went to number two in the UK classical charts when the album was released in October.

But the Chart Information Network (CIN) later decided the album was not eligible.

It said Bond's music was not by a recognised classical composer, and was not "really a classical idiom" because of the use of dance beats.

The CIN's guidelines say that, to qualify for the classical charts, at least half of the music on an album must be written by a known classical composer.

Nude cover

Bond say they bring classical sounds up to date, with tinges of everything from trance and house music to Salsa and traditional East European folk songs.

They were brought together by Mel Bush who guided the career of smash hit violinist Vanessa-Mae.

The foursome adopt a purposefully modern image, wearing daring clothes and posing in bikinis - rather than donning the usually sober attire of the classical world.

Bond were prevented by their record company from using a nude photograph on the cover of the album.

Executives thought the raunchy shot of the classically-trained foursome was not in keeping with their music.

See also:

19 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Nude Bond cover banned
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