Two singers, a pianist and a sax player go head to head with Nigel Westlake for Best Classical Album.

The first ARIA Awards for 2013 will be presented in Sydney on October 15 at a ceremony to be held at the Art Gallery of NSW. Nominations for Best Classical Album have gone to pianist Sally Whitwellfor her chart topping Michael Nyman Album, Norway-based leading contertenor David Hansenfor his nine world premiere castrati arias CD, saxophonist Amy Dickson for her film music inspired album Catch Me If You Can, soprano Jane Sheldon for her album North + South and Nigel Westlake for his moving Requiem for Eli.

Following the trend in recent years the classical, jazz and world music awards will be dealt with in a separate event six weeks ahead of the main awards ceremony, highlighting the perceived gap between ‘highbrow’ and ‘lowbrow’ despite the attempts by several of the key nominees to broaden the audience for classical music.

ARIA Chairman and Chairman of Sony Music Asia Denis Handlin said: “ARIA is delighted to recognise and celebrate the diverse and talented Australian musicians and artisans in...