"McCartney Beats Sting at Classical Brit Awards
(Adams, Andsnes and Rattle Win, Too)"

Classic Arts News   "McCartney Beats Sting at Classical Brit Awards
(Adams, Andsnes and Rattle Win, Too)"
Paul McCartney's choral oratorio Ecce Cor Meum has won the Album of the Year at the Classical Brit awards, which were presented yesterday at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Ecce Cor Meum, recorded with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, was competing against Sting's Songs from the Labyrinth, Bryn Terfel's Tutto Mozart and Nicola Benedetti's DG recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, among others. The Album of the Year is chosen by listeners of the popular U.K. radio network Classic FM.

The Independent of London quoted McCartney as saying, "It's such a huge honor for me to get this. If you'd told me as a kid in Liverpool that I would be at the Royal Albert Hall picking up an award I would not have believed you. How proud would my mum and dad have been if they had known this could happen?"

Other winners include John Adams, as Contemporary Composer of the Year for his recording of My Father Knew Charles Ives and The Dharma at Big Sur, and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, as Instrumentalist of the Year for his EMI collection Horizons.

Classical Recording of the Year went to Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for their two-disc set coupling Holst's The Planets with a set of specially commissioned companion works, collectively called Asteroids, by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Kaija Saariaho, Matthias Pintscher and Brett Dean.

The Young British Classical Performer prize was awarded to the violinist Ruth Palmer, who has received some press coverage recently having produced and made her own recording (of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1) rather than waiting for a label to do so.

Other winners included George Fenton, who won the Soundtrack of the Year prize for his score to the film Planet Earth, and conductor Vernon Handley, who received a lifetime achievement award for his work with the London, Amsterdam and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras in British music.

Anna Netrebko won Singer of the Year for her Russian Album, and the Critics' Award went to Ren_ Jacobs for his recording of La clemenza di Tito.

Among the performers at the event, according to Gramophone Online, included Joshua Bell (playing Vivaldi and Manuel Ponce), Juan Diego Fl‹rez (in a "stirring rendition" of Granada), Lang Lang (in Liszt and Tchaikovsky), Sting (singing John Dowland), crossover mezzo Katherine Jenkins, the Fron Male Voice Choir from Wales, crossover tenor Alfie Boe and the semi-classical girl-group All Angels.

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