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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Bond up for Classical Brit
Bond are not eligible for the classical chart
The female string quartet accused of "dumbing down" classical music have been nominated for a Classical Brit award.

Bond have sparked divisions in the classical world between those who believe they are trading on their looks and those who think they give a much-needed boost to the industry.

Their most recent release, Shine is up for best album, despite their music not being eligible for the classical charts after being deemed too much like pop music.

They are competing against previous winner Russell Watson, Aled Jones, Andrea Bocelli and Leslie Garrett.

The Operababes and The Planets, who are also considered to have crossover appeal, have also been nominated for the award, which will be chosen by listeners of Classic FM.

For the second year there is also a contemporary music award.

Making up the shortlist are Arvo Part for Orient and Occident, Howard Shore for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and John Williams for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.


The Classical Brits have been criticised in the past for being too commercial and focusing too much on populist music.

When Bond were first booked to perform at the ceremony two years ago there was outrage from some quarters that a "pop" act would be appearing.

But Classical Brits organisers have decided the group should feature on the album shortlist.

Andrea Bocelli
Italian singer Andrea Bocelli has been blind since the age of 12
Chairman of the Classical Brit Awards, Rob Dickins, said: "We use the classical charts as a guide but as 'accessibility' is one of the keywords of the Classical Brits, sticking too rigidly to rule books is not in the spirit of the awards or the show.

"We also wanted to reflect Bond's international success where in most other countries they do figure in the classical charts."

Others nominated for awards this year include Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis for best male artist, alongside Andrea Bocelli.

The female artist category is between teenager Chloe Hanslip, Magdalena Kozena and Renee Fleming.

The event takes place on 22 May, hosted by ITV News presenter Katie Derham and will be broadcast later on ITV1.

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