Classic Brits co-host Myleene Klass has dismissed criticism from some classical music purists that the awards do not truly represent the genre.
Klass, 40, was speaking from the red carpet of the event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The classically trained musician, who has presented the ceremony on six previous occasions, welcomed its return after a five year-hiatus.
The classical equivalent to the Brit awards celebrates excellence in the genre and and its wider use in TV, theatre, film and games.
Some music critics previously said the awards rewarded “populist” artists making crossovers into pop music. British concert pianist James Rhodes previously described the awards as a “sickening crime against classical music”.
When asked if she thought the awards should be held annually, the former Hear’Say singer replied: “Every little bit helps.
“If you’ve got purists saying the Classic Brits isn’t really classical music, well they should be thanking us actually, because we’re giving it an introduction for people who don’t have it in their lives.”
Citing the use of classical music in popular TV shows and pop music, Klass said: “Everybody uses classical music, but it has got this dowdy boring reputation of women with horns warbling in another language.
“The idea of just deciding that a genre should be canonised and kept in its purist form is a really boring idea.
“Mozart was the biggest renegade of them all. If he was alive today he would look at classical music and he would blow the roof off it.”
The nominations for this year’s revived awards boast an eclectic mix of artists.
Film and TV soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer leads the way with three nominations.
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who performed at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is nominated for male artist of the year along with 2017 Britain’s Got Talent winner Tokio Myers and Klass’ co-host Alexander Armstrong.
Theatre and TV actress Sherdian Smith is up for female artist of the year. She is up against traditional pop singer and Second World War pin-up Dame Vera Lynn.
Dame Vera’s daughter Virginia attended the ceremony on the 101-year-old singer’s behalf to collect a lifetime achievement award.
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will receive a special honour for his contribution to musical theatre.