Andrea Bocelli to receive Classic Brit honour

Andrea Bocelli Opera star Bocelli will be honoured with a special award to celebrate his 20-year career

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Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will be honoured with a special prize at next month's Classic Brit Awards.

The singer will be named international artist of the year to celebrate his 20-year career.

He has also been nominated for male artist of the year and album of the year for Concerto - One Night In Central Park.

Other artists to receive two nods include pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and composer Ennio Morricone.

Tenor Noah Stewart, Welsh composer Paul Mealor and classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic also received two nominations each.

Bocelli, who has released 22 albums and sold more than 75 million records worldwide, will go up against Andre Rieu, the Band of the Coldstream Guards and Russell Watson for the coveted album of the year prize.

He will compete with Chinese pianist Lang Lang and honorary Liverpudlian Vasily Petrenko, the Russian conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, for the male artist award.

This year a new category will mark the single of the year, with the Military Wives and Gareth Malone in the running.

Their Christmas number one, Wherever You Are, makes them the first group to be nominated for both a Classic Brit and a Brit Award.

John Williams honour

The prize will be voted for by the public from the 10 biggest classical tracks of the year including Nessun Dorma, Jerusalem and Hans Zimmer's Time, used in the film Inception.

Benjamin Grosvenor Twenty-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor is nominated in two categories

The shortlist also includes I Giorni by Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi, Gabriel's Oboe by Morricone and Rule Britannia.

British violinist Nicola Benedetti, who will perform at the ceremony on 2 October, is nominated for female artist against trumpeter and two-time winner Alison Balsom and American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

The nod marks Benedetti's eighth Classic Brit nod, making her the UK's most nominated female.

Hollywood composer John Williams will be honoured with a lifetime achievement award, while The London Chamber Orchestra will perform a montage of his film scores including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Superman and ET.

Williams is also nominated for composer of the year for his work on two recent soundtracks - War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, against Morricone and Mealor.

The breakthrough artist of the year category pits 20-year-old Grosvenor against Stewart and Karadaglic from Montenegro against each other.

Myleene Klass will host the 13th annual award ceremony at London's Royal Albert Hall, which will also feature performances from Rieu and Bocelli.

The event honours all forms of classical music from contemporary to crossover, opera to soundtracks, traditional to theatre.

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