'I was on a plane recently, flicking through the British Airways business magazine, and there was a photograph of these girls who had just emerged from the sea,' said Sir Thomas, 57.'I think they were called Bond but I hadn't heard of them.
Wielding a violin like no other, Haylie Ecker was one of the founding members of electric string quartet Bond, is Artistic Director of PPHK’s kid’s classical music concert series, PLAY! I choose projects I love and that creatively challenge me. last summer I was a soloist with L’Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris, and in London I worked with film composer Ilan Eshkeri to record the violin solos for the BAFTA nominated animation film, ‘The Snowman And The Snowdog’ at Abbey Rd Studios. with PPHK’s founder Andrea Fessler, which is a fabulous classical concert series for kids – a concept I’m completely passionate about.
'Some productions can be innovative, but some are gimmicky.
The things that went on in Don Giovanni are questionable.' The annual dinner, to be held tomorrow week, is considered the highlight of the classical calendarbut this year is expected to exacerbate the deep-running rift caused by the commercial success of younger stars such as Russell 'The Voice' Watson, about to release a duet with Faye Tozer of the pop group Steps.
Opera stalwart Sir Thomas Allen, who is due to deliver the main speech at the Royal Philharmonic Society's awards dinner, says he will call for an end to the exploitation of nubile young women to sell records.
The acclaimed baritone's targets will include classical music's answer to the Spice Girls, the Mediaeval Baebes, a manufactured group who have topped the charts but whose chants have been described as 'estuary Latin' by critics.
Last year Bond, who comprise Haylie Ecker, 25, Eos Chater, 25, Tania Davis, 26, and Gay-Yee Westerhoff, 27, caused uproar when they were asked to perform at the Classical Brits despite the fact their up-tempo sound, often accompanied by a rock band and dancers, had been declared pop music by chart compilers.
Their spokesman yesterday said they were surprised by Sir Thomas's outburst as they had recently recorded an album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
'They are all A-grade students from musical colleges and Haylie is a virtuoso violinist,' she said.
'They compose their own music and they are classical musicians, so I guess it's classical music.' Vanessa Mae said Sir Thomas 'has a point, in that a lot of the electronic music I record and perform is anything but classical' but added: 'I have also recorded and continue to perform a lot of core classical repertoire by Tchaikovsky, Bach, Brahms, Bruch, Paganini, Wieniawski and Sarasate among others.