Nicola Benedetti and Hans Zimmer defend Classic BRITs

Speaking on stage at last night's award ceremony, the evening's big winners hit back at the event's critics.

Classic Brit Awards 2013

In a speech that will be broadcast to over a million people on ITV1 this Sunday evening, Benedetti spoke passionately about the event bringing classical music to everyone.

"There are centuries of music to discover," she said. "If you're watching this, here, or at home, and this is your main exposure to classical music, go and discover the rest - go and discover the symphonies of Beethoven, Sibelius, and Shostakovich!"

Film composer Hans Zimmer also hit back at those who dismissed his genre of music as less 'classical' than more traditional compositions, pointing out how essential movie music is for the classical industry as a whole.

"Film is the last place on earth that virtually on an hourly basis commissions orchestral music," he said.

"If we lose the orchestra, it's a much bigger gap than just losing the musicians. It's a gap in our culture, a gap in our timeline, a gap in everything that makes us human."

Nicola Benedetti picked up the Best Female Artist Award at the ceremony last night with Hans Zimmer picking up the Composer Award, and the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Other winners included Luciano Pavarotti, Lang Lang, Daniel Barenboim, André Rieu, Jonas Kaufmann and Amy Dickson.

Nicola Benedetti at the Classic BRITs

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti Violinist Nicola Benedetti

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