New classical music chart launching online today: Classic FM Hall of Fame!

Classical Music Chart

The official classical music chart for 2010, brought to you by Classic FM, launches today!

Classic FM Hall of Fame

The public have been voting for their favourite classical music composers and pieces, and the results are now in! Find out which tracks are hot, and which are not, as the results are revealed, one by one, on-air and online over the Easter weekend. It's a multiplatform extravaganza -- exciting stuff! There's a competition to win a Roberts digital radio every hour! The event is sponsored by NS&I (National Savings and Investments) -- a  government department offering saving and investment schemes to the general public, which is one of the UK's largest savings and investments providers.

The British public have a reputation for good taste, especially those who listen to Classic FM, the UK's top classical music station -- do you agree with their choices? If not, be sure to vote in next year's poll! When we do this again in 2011, it's likely to be a much more feature-rich website including multimedia, giving you the ability to hear the music and watch videos.


Technology spotlight

The website is powered by the Microsoft web platform. The beating heart of it is an ASP.NET MVC web application (built by me), deployed on a fairly typical architecture. Yeah, I know, it's a very fast, responsive website; performance doesn't get any better than this on the web. ;)

I probably shouldn't give away too many facts and figures. We're expecting millions of users, and millions of page views this first weekend alone. Fortunately, given the anticipated load, it's deployed on a nice robust infrastructure, comprising several load-balanced IIS web servers and a failover pair of SQL Server 2005 database servers. (Of course, if we anticipated problematic load spikes, we could consider scaling by a cloud-based hosting platform like Azure.)

The whole project was delivered in less than a week by a small, elite in-house team. We adhere to a custom project management style based on Scrum, in an Agile/XP working environment with BDD/TDD. i worked particularly closely with my esteemed colleague, Ash Temple, Head of Commercial Design. We've done some cool stuff together, and there's much more to come, so watch this space... I really enjoyed working on this one, cheers guys!

02 April 2010

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Tim Acheson (01 Apr 10, 15:44)

Classic FM Hall of Fame - credits / roll of honour

  • Web development (ASP.NET MVC, C#): Tim Acheson
  • Front-end web development (HTML, CSS, JS): Ash Temple
  • Design and graphics: Ian Staunton
  • DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL): Steve Bensemann

Further information

Great post, nice to know whats under the hood! Been checking the site, its looking great and the stats have been superb! Really enjoyed working with you on this project and looking forward to the next!

Tim Acheson (03 Apr 10, 13:44)

Nice one, Ash! I must say, I'm a big fan of your front-end engineering handywork, particularly your hand-crafted markup. One does appreciate quality in web applications: 100% valid XHTML 1.0 Strict. Haha ;)

Heather Mellars (05 Apr 10, 17:16)

Hello! Great site. :) Been watching it unveil itself. Fascinating! And watching Facebook and Twitter. Dont know how you guys do it! It amazing. WELL DONE!! Very worth all the hard work! :):)

Was brilliant yesterday during the hall of fame....there was some hiccups, that just adds to the beauty of things imho!

Hope to have you around a lot more and thanks again

Brilliant site design- contemporary, easy to use and made the Hall of Fame experience even better!

Hi Tim

I absolutly loved the website for the Hall of Fame this year it was just as exciting to watch the music unviel as well as hear it loved the mini bio links to superb and the colourful pictures were great plus the whole thing was fast and efficiant an award winning triumph if you ask me well done

not sure at the moment about any new ideas maybe underneath the entry details you could put a if you liked that piece you'll also enjoy or perhaps you should try this and reccomend a similar sort of piece just a thought

Cerys Davies (06 Apr 10, 21:47)

I think the website is fantastic. I've managed to find all the music that I like but missed although we all know where the lark was :-)
Its been really enhanced listening to the hall of fame this year especially because last year I missed it all so I'm glad that you've created it for this year all bright and happy too

Cerys Davies (06 Apr 10, 21:52)

sorry, meant to add this to previous comment on a random thought, maybe add a search so people can find the music they voted for?

Tim Acheson (07 Apr 10, 14:38)


The new Classic FM Hall of Fame website received millions of hits over the Easter weekend alone, and there's been a persistent high level activity on it all week. We should see a healthy flow of users enjoying the site for the rest of the year, until the next countdown begins...

Thanks so much for the feedback and suggestions, this is all really useful! It's heart-warming to hear from so many people who enjoyed the Hall of Fame website, on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Thank you everybody for being a part of the wonderful Hall of Fame weekend experience! I can hardly wait for next year, I think the listeners are really going to shake things up! The day after the results were all announced, I was already seeing new Facebook groups launched calling for change next time round! Watch this space...

We gave an informal presentation internally on the success of the launch weekend: slide deck.

Permalink: Classic FM Hall of Fame microsite.

Nathan Bain (14 Apr 10, 17:50)

Congratulations on such a well received site. I can see why so many people have been using and returning to the Classic FM Hall of fame site. It is incredibly intuitive and easy on the eye. Quick to load and respond too. A lesson in what good website design and implementation is all about.

Tim Acheson (16 Apr 10, 15:59)

Thank you, Mr Bain. There's nobody's feedback I value more than that of the best Master of QA and automated testing I've worked with. ;)

I'd like to personally thank you for making me discover some of the most amazing classical music I'll hear in my lifetime. I'll visit this site everyday to discover another new gem which I'll add to my collection.

Thank you Tim!

Tim Acheson (27 Aug 10, 10:59)

Just launched: the Classic FM official Movie Music Chart!


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