Yes, there is money in classical music, and it's mostly in the pockets of the Wiener Philharmoniker. Already the Susan Boyles of the classical world have sold 40,000 CDs and 10,000 DVDs of their 2011 New Year's concert.
To put those figures into some kind of perspective, Take That's Progress was the UK's fastest-selling album last year, with first week sales of 520,000. Heidi Montag debuted with an embarassing 658, and an album can allegedly top the US classical charts with a weekly sale of less than 1,000. The most successful Wiener New Year recording to date has been the 2003 concert with Harnoncourt, which sold 60,000 copies.
To mark the feat, the Wiener's earthly representative Clemens Hellberg and the concert's conductor Franz Welser-Möst picked up double-platinum awards in Vienna yesterday: