Alison Balsom, Il Divo, Vilde Frang Win 2011 Classic BRIT Awards
Alison Balsom, Il Divo, Vilde Frang Win 2011 Classic BRIT Awards

Alison Balsom with her 2011 Female Artists of the Year Classic Brit Award.

British trumpeter Alison Balsom bagged her third Classic BRIT award last night (May 12) and her second as Female Artist of the Year securing her place as one of the UK's most respected classical artists.

The twelfth annual Classic BRIT awards - fronted by British rent-a-presenter Myleene Klass - took place at London's Albert Hall and saw some of the world's most respected musicians including European operatic outfit Il Divo (who won Artist Of The Decade and performed a world premiere from their forthcoming disc) and super-soprano Katherine Jenkins (who presented the Newcomer Award to hot new Norwegian EMI Classics violinist Vilde Frang and performed "Chanson Boheme" from her 2006 Decca album "Serenade").

No surprises for Classic FM Album Of The Year, selected from the ten biggest-selling classical discs of the past 12 months. Obviously, the winner was everyone's favorite André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra for the platinum-selling "Moonlight Serenade" (Decca).

Preparation for proposed musical theatre categories next year came in the form of the cast of Les Miserables, whose technology failed them going off stage though, slightly disappointingly, just revealed that they thought it was "amazing" and wished they could do it again.

The Critics Award recognized the pioneering efforts of Brit violinist Tasmin Little for her acclaimed Chandos album "Elgar: Violin Concerto." But the event's piece de resistance was a barnstorming performance of "Goldfinger" by legendary singer Shirley Bassey, not a classical singer, nor even remotely crossover, but what a delicious excuse to have her on with an Outstanding Contribution to Music award to Bond composer John Barry.

The Classic BRIT awards 2011 will be broadcast on ITV1 on 29 May 2011

Winner's List:

AWARD - Newcomer Award in association with MasterCard
WINNER - Vilde Frang - EMI Classics

AWARD - Female Artist of the Year in association with PPL
WINNER - Alison Balsom - 'Italian Concertos' - EMI Classics

AWARD - Composer of the Year
WINNER - Arvo Pärt - 'Symphony No. 4' - ECM

AWARD - Male Artist of the Year
WINNER - Antonio Pappano - 'Rossini: Stabat Mater'/'Verismo Arias' - EMI Classics, Decca/Universal

AWARD - Critics' Award
WINNER - Tasmin Little - 'Elgar: Violin Concerto' - Chandos

AWARD - Artist of the Decade in association with Raymond Weil
WINNER - Il Divo - Syco/Sony Music

AWARD - Classic FM Album of the Year
WINNER - André Rieu & Johann Strauss Orchestra -
'Moonlight Serenade'- Decca/Universal

AWARD - Outstanding Contribution to Music
WINNER - John Barry OBE