New Official Classical Singles Chart to launch next week

Russell Watson, Gareth Malone, Hayley Westenra and Paul Mealor talk about the launch of the UK's first ever Classical Singles Chart!

The Official Charts Company is launching a brand new chart to reflect a shift in the classical music sector, and consumers’ growing enthusiasm for buying classical music track-by-track.

The Official Classical Singles Chart launches Monday, reflecting the most popular individual tracks bought by classical music fans every week.  The accessibility of classical music by a single download can serve to encourage sampling of the genre to a new audience.

The past two years have seen a surge in individual track download sales – up 46% in 2011 compared to 2010 (1.22m vs 834,000). While these numbers were boosted by the success of the Military Wives’ Christmas Number 1 Wherever You Are (which was downloaded 191,000 times on its own in 2011), download sales would still have been above 1m for the year, for the first time ever.

This surge is continuing in 2012 – in the first quarter of this year, some 284,000 classical downloads were sold, a 34% increase on the 212,000 sold in Q1 2011.

To mark the growth of classical singles, the Classical BRITs has also confirmed that it will launch a Top Single Award at this September’s 2012 Royal Albert Hall show. This will be the subject of a public vote, with the shortlist based on the Official Charts Company’s poll of the biggest selling downloads of the previous 12 months.

The new Official Classical Singles Chart will be announced every Monday at and will be based on sales from the UK’s leading download stores, ranging from iTunes, and through to, and Sainsbury’, among others.

The first chart will be unveiled at 1pm this coming Monday 28 May 2012 at

To launch this exciting new chart we spoke to a host of classical artists about what the new chart will mean to them.  Featuring Russell Watson, Gareth Malone, Paul Mealor, Katherine Jenkins and Hayley Westenra: