Twenty year-old Essex pianist Benjamin Grosvenor became the youngest male recipient of a Classic BRIT Award last night, snatching the Critics' Award from Sir Simon Rattle and Jirí Belohlávek at the ceremony which took place at London's Albert Hall.
Scottish string superstar Nicola Benedetti continued her astounding year by being named Best Female. With live music from people's choir The Military Wives (Decca/Universal), Take That star Gary Barlow (who took to the stage with Andrew Lloyd Webber to perform the Queen's Jubilee song 'Sing', conducted by Gareth Malone) and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (Decca), the ceremony celebrated the U.K's ever-thriving classical recordings.
To celebrate her win, Benedetti wowed the audience with her rendition of the "Schindler's List" theme, which features on her latest disc, "The Silver Violin" (Decca).
The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone won the first ever Classic BRITs Single of the Year in Association with iTunes award for the Paul Mealor-composed track "Wherever You Are" (which made Christmas number one in the U.K. in 2011).
Decca continued its BRITS success with André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra bagging the Classic FM Album of the Year in Association with MasterCard award for the second year running for "And The Waltz Goes On" (Decca). Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglic's scooped Breakthrough Artist Of The Year for his album Latino (Deutsche Grammophon) and this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, film composer John Williams, was honored in an audio-visual tribute featuring the London Chamber Orchestra conducted by James Morgan.
The Classic BRIT (British Record Industry Trust) Awards is organized by the BPI (the British Phonographic Industry), which has over 400 record company members, accounting for more than 90% of UK recorded music sales.
The ceremony will be broadcast in the U.K on ITV1 on Sunday October 7 at 10:20pm and repeated on ITV3 on Sunday October 14.