Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 12:17 UK

BBC Radio 3 to broadcast classical album chart

Sara Mohr-Pietsch
Sara Mohr-Pietsch co-presents the Breakfast show on Radio 3

Radio 3 is to broadcast a weekly chart of classical music for the first time in its history which will challenge "crusty old preconceptions".

The station will devote part of its Tuesday breakfast show to discussing albums in the Classical Chart, compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC).

Radio 3 said the chart will give listeners more insight into new albums.

But the decision is likely to provoke debate about which recordings actually qualify as "100% classical".

Chart countdown

The Official Specialist Classical Chart, which was launched in February 2009, is compiled on a weekly basis with the results released on Mondays.

Radio 3's Monday afternoon drivetime programme In Tune will countdown the chart and play a track from the album at number one.

The Breakfast programme will explore the chart in more detail on Tuesdays.

Breakfast presenter Rob Cowan said: "The great thing about this new initiative is that it allows us to keep tabs on what people are actually buying.

"It should prove thoroughly entertaining and enlightening and I'm sure it'll scupper some crusty old preconceptions!"

'Personal reflections'

Co-presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch said it was "exciting news".

"I'm looking forward to exploring the chart, and sharing my personal reflections on new arrivals and enduring bestsellers with Breakfast listeners," she said.

Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3, said the chart would play a "significant" part in Radio 3 programming.

The Official Specialist Classical Chart was developed by the OCC and the BPI Classical Committee. Compilations and soundtracks are excluded from the chart.

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