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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Soprano Bartoli wins fans' award
Cecilia Bartoli
Bartoli's award was one of the few voted for by fans
Italian opera star Cecilia Bartoli has been named the most popular star in the classical music world at the prestigious Gramophone Awards.

The mezzo soprano beat Sir Simon Rattle and Nigel Kennedy to the Classic FM listener's choice prize, voted for by fans of the radio station.

The Zehetmair Quartet, a part-time string quartet, took the night's other main prize - for record of the year.

The Gramophone Awards are billed as the most important in classical music.

Bartoli, born in Rome in 1966, has won four Grammy Awards in her 15-year career and was honoured with the outstanding contribution award at the Classical Brits in May.

GRAMOPHONE AWARDS MAIN WINNERS
Record of the year - Zehetmair Quartet, Schumann's String Quartets
Artist of the year - Marin Alsop
Classic FM listener's choice - Cecilia Bartoli
Best debut - Simon Trpceski, Piano Works
Editor's choice - Simon Trpceski, Piano Works
Lifetime achievement - Leontyne Price
She was "a remarkable artist" who had a "boundless" aptitude for hard work, Classic FM managing director Roger Lewis said.

"She has brought great classical music to the attention of a far wider audience than would have otherwise have been the case," he said.

The Zehetmair Quartet won record of the year for their recording of Schumann's String Quartets.

They beat off competition from shortlisted CDs by Daniel Harding, Murray Perahia, Richard Hickox, Rachel Podger and Clifford Curzon.

Gramophone magazine editor James Jolly said the Schumann CD had an "immediacy, passion and excitement".

"This is one of those discs that just grabs you the minute you put it into the player," he said.

Conductor Marin Alsop, new principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, was named artist of the year.

'Magical'

And US soprano Leontyne Price, 76, was given a lifetime achievement award.

She made her name in the 1950s and 60s and was the first black singer to sing a major role at La Scala in Milan.

Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski, 24, won two awards - for best debut and editor's choice - for his interpretations of Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin and Prokofiev.

It "is magical playing", Mr Jolly said.

Among the other winners, a new version of Britten's The Turn of the Screw won in the opera category, conductor Vernon Handley got a special achievement award and Harmonia Mundi won label of the year.


SEE ALSO:
Bartoli leads Classical Brits race
24 Apr 02  |  Entertainment
Bartoli wins classical artist of the year
20 Oct 01  |  Entertainment
UK debut for singing sensation
12 Oct 01  |  Entertainment
Bocelli tops Classical Brits
23 May 03  |  Entertainment


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