The nominations were announced yesterday in London. The awards, which were spun off in 2000 from the pop awards show the Brits, will be presented at Royal Albert Hall on May 25. Performers at the awards ceremony will include violinist Nicola Benedetti and soprano Anna Netrebko.
Terfel was nominated for the male artist of the year award, and his album Silent Noon, a collection of English art songs, was nominated for album of the year and ensemble/orchestral album of the year.
The Sixteen, an early music vocal group, was nominated for both album of the year and ensemble/orchestral album of the year for Rennaissance. The other nominees for album of the year are Duel, an album of classical favorites played by two young violinists; two CDs by Welsh crossover singer Katherine Jenkins; and recordings by flutist James Galway, vocalist Aled Jones, boys choir Libera, composer Ludovico Einaudi, and violinist Vanessa Mae.
The final nominee in the ensemble/orchestral category is violinist Nigel Kennedy, who was nominated for an album of Vivaldi recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic.
In the male artist of the year category, Terfel will compete with Aled Jones and conductor Colin Davis. The nominees for female artist of the year are mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, conductor Marin Alsop, and pianist Martha Argerich.
In previous years, the nominations for contemporary music were crowded with film scores. This year a new soundtrack composer category was created to address this problem; nominees are Jocelyn Pook for The Merchant of Venice, John Williams for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Nigel Hess for Ladies in Lavender. In the contemporary music category, classical veterans John Adams and Peter Maxwell Davies will compete with pop musician Elvis Costello, who was nominated for his dance score Il sogno.
Violinist Jack Liebeck, cellist Natalie Clein, and soprano Sally Matthews were nominated for the young British classical performer award. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra's recording of Haydn's The Seasons, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's CD of Handel arias, and the Dallas Symphony's album of Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos performed with pianist Stephen Hough will compete for the critics' prize.
Galway will receive an honorary award for outstanding contribution to music.