Distinguished conductor Dr Vernon Handley will be feted with the lifetime achievement award at the Classical Brit Awards 2007, to be held May 3 at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Over the course of his prolific career, Handley has recorded more than 150 albums, of which 90 feature the works of British composers including Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Malcolm Arnold and Edward Elgar.

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Elgar, Handley will conduct on the night a special performance of one movement from the Elgar Cello Concerto, performed by Natalie Clein.

Other performers confirmed by organizers the BPI today include the 60-strong Fron Male Voice Choir, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

British savings organization NS&I returns as headline sponsor of the Classical Brits, nominations for which will be unveiled April 2.