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Classical Music Awards: Newcomer of the Year - Bryn Terfel: Artists strike triumphant note on big awards night

THE JURY took about 30 seconds on this category. 'A talent beyond imagining, a colossal singer' - thus John Eliot Gardiner, who has conducted Bryn Terfel and was accepting the award on his behalf, since he is at the moment in Chicago rehearsing Wagner's Rheingold.

Brought up on a farm in Wales, and a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Terfel, who is 26, won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship in 1988 and the lieder prize in th Cardiff Singer of the World competition the following year as runner-up to Dmitri Hvorostovsky. His operatic debut took place with Welsh National Opera in 1990, and the subsequent rise of this resplendent and warm bass- baritone has already taken him to international opera houses, the Salzburg Festival, and the recording studios among high-powered casts. No doubt this is the last time he can be called a newcomer - a highly popular award.

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