Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 18:15 UK

Classical Brits to honour Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber currently appears in BBC show I'd Do Anything

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will be presented with the outstanding achievement prize at the annual Classical Brits awards.

The musician, who turns 60 this year, said he is "absolutely thrilled" and "delighted" to be receiving the award.

The Brits said Lord Lloyd-Webber's legacy "includes unparalleled success in music theatre for which he has become famous through the world".

The event will take place in London's Albert Hall on 8 May.

Lord Lloyd-Webber will be presented with the prize almost 25 years since the composition of his Requiem Mass won a Grammy for best contemporary classical composition.

'Biggest and best'

Tenor Alfie Boe has two nominations for this year's awards, including male artist and album of the year.

In the best male category he will compete against Mexican lyric tenor Rolando Villazon and conductor Sir Colin Davis, who won the award in 2002.

Classical pianist Angela Hewitt, cellist Natalie Clein and operatic soprano Anna Netrebko will battle it out in the female artist of the year.

Violinist Nicola Benedetti has been nominated in the young British classical performer category for a third time.

She will compete against soprano Kate Royal, who performed on last year's winner of album of the years Sir Paul McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum, and critically acclaimed violist Lawrence Power.

The annual award ceremony was established in 2000 to recognise the outstanding achievements of classical musicians and the growth of classical music sales in the UK

In a joint statement, Classical Brit chairmen Dickon Stainer and Thomas Kaurich said they promised this year's show "will be the biggest and best in the history of the event".

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