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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Radio 3 to broadcast Official Specialist Classical Chart for first time ever

Sara Mohr-Pietsch

From Monday 12 April, BBC Radio 3 will broadcast highlights from the Official Specialist Classical Chart results. This is the first time in the station's history that it has broadcast a weekly chart.

The Top 20 Official Specialist Classical Chart is compiled on a weekly basis and the results are released on Mondays.

On Mondays at 5.00pm Radio 3's afternoon drivetime programme In Tune will reveal the chart and play a track from the No. 1 disc. On Tuesdays from 8.00-8.30am, Radio 3's flagship Breakfast programme will explore the chart in more detail with clips and comments.

The Official Specialist Classical Chart was launched in February 2009 and was developed by the Official Charts Company in conjunction with the BPI Classical Committee. The chart was designed to focus on new classical releases, highlighting the sales of repertoire which is 100% classical and has been released within the last two years. Compilations and soundtracks are excluded from the chart.

Today the Official Charts Company revealed that the sales of Specialist Classical music across all formats increased by 80% across the first twelve weeks of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.

Specialist Digital Classical Sales rose 25% between 2008 and 2009 and are on track for another large increase this year.

The new-look Radio 3 website will include clips of the week's top twenty plus a summary of the rises and falls.

Breakfast presenter Rob Cowan said: "The great thing about this new initiative is that it allows us to keep tabs on what people are actually buying. It should prove thoroughly entertaining and enlightening and I'm sure it'll scupper some crusty old preconceptions!"

Breakfast presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch said: "This is exciting news for the whole Breakfast team. I'm looking forward to exploring the chart, and sharing my personal reflections on new arrivals and enduring bestsellers with Breakfast listeners."

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3, said: "The Specialist Classical Chart will be a new and significant part of our Radio 3 programming, providing our listeners with more insights into the classical music recording market. Building a Library with expert analysis in CD Review is a long standing part of our schedule and I am delighted that we will now extend our recommendations for further listening in our breakfast and drivetime programming."

Phil Matcham, from the Official Charts Company, said: "We are delighted that Radio 3 will be broadcasting the Specialist Classical Chart. It was launched to great success just over a year ago, and the support of Radio 3 can only further create awareness and interest in this important sector of the classical market."

Breakfast is presented by Rob Cowan and Sara Mohr-Pietsch and is on Radio 3 weekdays and Sundays from 7.00-10.00am and from 7.00-9.00am on Saturdays. In Tune is presented by Sean Rafferty and Petro Trelawny is on Radio 3 between 5.00-7.00pm every weekday.

Notes to Editors

The Official Charts Company (OCC) is a joint venture between the record labels' body, the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). The OCC is responsible for the commissioning, marketing, distribution and management of the UK's industry standard music and video charts and is endorsed by the British Video Association (BVA).

The Official Charts Company compiles its charts from sales information from over 6,200 retailers including all major high street retail chains, independent stores, supermarkets and internet retailers. This market research sample equates to 99% of the total UK Singles market; 98% of the total UK Albums market and 85% of the total UK DVD market.

BBC Radio 3 is the UK Station of the Year and broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts programmes and drama. Last year Radio 3 broadcast over 600 complete concerts and operas from venues and festivals across the UK and beyond. BBC Radio 3 is the home of The BBC Proms and broadcasts every concert live. It supports composers, writers and new young performers and last year broadcast over 40 new drama productions.


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