Classical music was the big winner at retail in 2009 according to a statement issued by the German Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI).

Double-digit growth was achieved in both volumes and revenues. Numerous releases to mark the births or deaths of famous composers such as Georg-Friedrich Händel (250th anniversary of his death), Joseph Haydn (200th anniversary of his death) and the 200th anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn's birth caused the catalog of available classical music products to rise by 15% from 53,874 to 61,963, according to the statement.

Against the backdrop of slight contraction in the music market as a whole, classical music revenues rose by 10% from €108 million to €119 million, with volume sales of classical music CDs climbing by 16.7% from 12.6 million in 2008 to 14.7 million in 2009. It was the genre's highest level since 2003, said managing director Stefan Michalk.

"What is particularly conspicuous is that more and more young people are buying classical music," he added.

In 2009, the share of classical music buyers aged between 10 and 19 years increased from 1.3% in the previous year to 1.8%, with the share accounted for by the 20-29 year bracket widening from 2.7% to 4.7%.

"Artists such as violinist David Garrett [DEAG Music] are transcending music categories effortlessly, thus opening up classical music to young target groups," reported Michalk.

BVMI will be publishing detailed figures on March 24 in Berlin.