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Wednesday, 24 April, 2002, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Bartoli leads Classical Brits race
Cecilia Bartoli
Bartoli has three nominations
Acclaimed Italian opera singer Cecilia Bartoli has emerged as the frontrunner for this year's Classical Brit awards.

Bartoli was nominated in three categories at a ceremony in central London on Wednesday, including best female artist, the critics award and best album for Gluck, Italian Arias.

Popular tenor Russell Watson - winner of two awards in 2001 - will compete with Bartoli for best album with Encore.

Tenor Russell Watson
Tenor Russell Watson won two awards in 2001

The Classical Brits, now in their third year, will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 May.

The event will include performances from Watson, classical female duo the OperaBabes, legendary Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Czech mezzo-soprano, Magdalena Kozena.

Films

Kozena was also nominated for the best female artist award, as was violinist Tasmin Little.

Bocelli was confirmed as the winner of the award for the outstanding contribution to music.

Movie composers Tan Dun, Howard Shore and Hans Zimmer will do battle for the contemporary music award.

The OperaBabes
The OperaBabes will perform at the awards

Dunn is nominated for the music to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Shore is in the running for his score to The Lord of the Rings.

Zimmer is selected for his music to Hannibal and Gladiator.

Violin virtuoso ChloŽ Hanslip receives a nomination for young British classical performer of the year.

She will compete against former young musician of the year, Guy Johnston, and fellow violinist Daniel Hope.

Popularity

The winners will be voted for by a panel made up of members of the media, the British Association of Record Dealers, the Musicians Union, industry executives and orchestra leaders.

However, the album of the year will be voted for by listeners of Classic FM.

Andrea Bocelli
Bocelli will be recognised for his contribution to music

And a panel of national media will decide the winner of the critics award.

The Classical Brits were established to recognise the outstanding achievements of classical musicians and the growth of classical music sales in the UK.

This year, in a move to help promote classical music, the British Phonographic Industry has set aside tickets for the awards ceremony for 30 UK schools.

See also:

01 Jun 01 | Music
Triumph of the tough tenor
27 Apr 01 | Music
Classical Brits announced
26 Apr 01 | Music
Countryside theme for Proms
18 Apr 01 | Music
Bond quartet hit US high note
19 May 00 | Wales
Terfel's Welsh music fest
06 May 00 | Entertainment
Church wins Classical Brit award
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