Double winner for Zimmer at Brits
Film score supremo Hans Zimmer was a double winner at the Classic Brits tonight as he was named composer of the year as well as being rewarded for his outstanding contribution to music.
The movie maestro beat Ludovico Einaudi and Arvo Part to the composer prize for his work on the soundtracks to box office hits Man Of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises.
King of the waltz Andre Rieu was another big winner at the ceremony, staged at London's Royal Albert Hall, as he took the album of the year prize for a third successive year, triumphing with his Magic Of The Movies release.
The event - at which Gareth Malone's new ensemble Voices made its public debut - also honoured the late operatic superstar Luciano Pavarotti. His widow Nicoletta Mantovani accepted a posthumous lifetime achievement award, presented by his colleague in the Three Tenors, Jose Carreras.
Pavarotti had agreed to accept the award six years ago but died before the next ceremony. Another fellow member of the Three Tenors, Placido Domingo, also recorded a video tribute to the star.
Zimmer, famed for his scores to the Pirates Of The Caribbean films and movies such as Inception for which he enlisted former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, collected his outstanding contribution prize from Sir Michael Caine. The German composer also performed as he accompanied the London Chamber Orchestra on piano with a medley of his work.
The event, hosted by Myleene Klass, saw violinist Nicola Benedetti take the female artist of the year prize for a second year running, on the strength of her The Silver Violin album. The composer and pianist Daniel Barenboim took his first Classic Brit, collecting the male artist prize.
Pianist Lang Lang - named best international artist - was among the performers at the ceremony, duetting for the first time with Benedetti on Sabre Dance.
Also on the bill was choirboy Jack Topping, whom a week earlier had his debut at the Albert Hall cancelled due to a fire alert which led to the building being evacuated and his Classic FM Live show being axed. Organisers of tonight's Classic Brit Awards with MasterCard ceremony took pity and stepped in to offer the Decca Records-signed Liverpool schoolboy a place on the bill and the 11-year-old performed You'll Never Walk Alone.
Einaudi and saxophonist Amy Dickson also played, and the singers Alfie Boe and Samantha Barks duetted for the finale. The event is to be broadcast on ITV on Sunday at 10:20pm.