The Classic BRIT Awards have relaunched after a five-year break, and the 2018 winners were announced last night at a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Former BBC Young Musician finalists had a particularly successful evening, with cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason awarded Male Artist of the Year and the Critics’ Choice Award and saxophonist Jess Gillam topping the Sound of Classical poll and receiving a £1000 prize. The poll, celebrating the accomplishments of artists under the age of 30, is a new addition to the Classic BRITs.
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101-year-old Vera Lynn took home the Lifetime Achievement Award, following the success of her latest album, Vera 100.
The Awards were presented by radio presenter Myleene Klass and comedian and presenter Alexander Armstrong, with musical accompaniment from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The evening featured performances from pianist Beatrice Rana, who performed one of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, soprano Pretty Yende, singer Katherine Jenkins and, in duet, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, who kicked the evening off with a rendition of ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story in honour of Bernstein’s centenary.
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The Classic BRITs were first held in 2000, and mark the achievements of all forms of classical music artists, including music on film, TV, theatre and games.
The Awards will be broadcast on ITV this Sunday at 10.30pm.
Full list of winners:
Female Artist of the Year: Renée Fleming
Male Artist of the Year: Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Group of the Year: Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
Soundtrack of the Year: The Greatest Showman OST
Critics’ Choice: Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Classic FM Album of the Year: Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
Classic BRITs Icon: Andrea Bocelli
Sound of Classical 2018: Jess Gillam
PPL Classic BRITs Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Tokio Myers
Special Recognition Award for Musical Theatre and Education: Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Lifetime Achievement Award: Vera Lynn
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.