Entertainment & Arts

Rolando Villazon up for two Classic Brit awards

Antonio Pappano and Rolando Villazon
Image caption Antonio Pappano and Rolando Villazon will go head-to-head for best male artist

Tenor Rolando Villazon and conductor Antonio Pappano have both been nominated for two Classic Brit Awards.

Villazon, a judge and mentor on ITV show Popstar To Operastar, is shortlisted for album of the year and best male artist.

Pappano has also received a nod in the best male category and has been nominated for the critics' award.

Myleene Klass will present the ceremony, which takes place at London's Royal Albert Hall on 12 May.

Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras, who died last year, gains a posthumous nomination for best male artist.

For the first time in the awards' 12-year history, three British artists - trumpeter Alison Balsom, violinist Nicola Benedetti and pianist Dame Mitsuko Uchida - will compete for the title of female artist of the year.

Dame Mitsuko was born in Japan but is a naturalised British citizen.

In another first, the category features no opera singers.

Image caption Best album nominee Isabel Suckling sings in York Minster's choir

The most coveted prize of the night is the album of the year award, which is voted for by the public.

The list is compiled from the top 10 biggest selling classical albums of last year, and includes choir girl Isabel Suckling, who is up against her manager, Aled Jones, for his Christmas release.

Other artists shortlisted for best album include Bryn Terfel, Andre Rieu, The Priests, Russell Watson, the Central Band of the RAF and the Benedictine Nuns of Notre-Dame for Voices.

US musician Eric Whitacre picks up his first nomination in the composer of the year category, while Karl Jenkins is short-listed for the fourth time.

Operatic quartet Il Divo will receive a special award for artist of the decade and are due to perform at the event, which will be screened on ITV1.

Meanwhile, the shortlist nominations for The Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards have also been announced.

The Royal Opera House leads the way with nominations in five categories, including three for its production of Wagner's Tannhauser.

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