When it comes to the performing arts - no matter pop or classical - the look is essential. Imagine if Vanessa Mae's debut album The Violin Player featured a cover image of the violinist in a suit instead of a sexy wet dress. Would it have grabbed the attention of casual listeners and generated as much hype surrounding the 'classical crossover' genre? Mae's success has spurred musicians with a classical background into doing crossover music that blends pop with traditional instruments. Despite their difference in musical styles, they all have one thing in common: the glamour of a pop star. Young, fresh and good-looking, many of them are being marketed as 'teen sensations'. They appear on popular television shows and tour around the world to promote their albums. They dress stylishly and are very conscious of their classy image - be it Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica's handsomeness or the girl-next-door appeal of Hayley Westenra. There is a good reason behind the marketing savvy, as traditional classical music seems to be losing its appeal among young audiences. Classical crossover may be the key to the revival of classical music. The formula seems to work. Students at St Paul's Co-educational (Macdonnell Road) Primary School looked amazed as they watched Duel - young violinist duo Craig Owen and Greg Scott (right) from Manchester - perform Pachelbel's Canon in a lively manner at their school. As Owen and Scott played their violins with great dexterity, they moved around energetically, swinging their bodies to enliven their performance. 'Their communication with the audience is very good. They look straight at us and I can see that they have injected a lot of emotion into the piece,' said Annabel Choy Kai-tung, 11. The students said they preferred Duel's dynamic performing style to traditional classical concerts. They pointed out that the duo's body language was also a form of emotional expression. 'This is their way of expressing their emotions. No matter what kind of music you play, it's OK to use your own style to express your feelings,' said Jessica Chu Ji-nuo, 11. Duel's self-titled debut, which features popular orchestral pieces such as Minuet by Boccherini and Wagner's Bridal March, is a best-selling classical album in Britain. It was produced by Pete Waterman, the flamboyant music producer who introduced the likes of pop stars Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan in the 1980s Jason Ho, the conductor of the student orchestra at St Paul's, believes that classical pop is a good way of attracting students to classical music. 'The world of young people is now filled by computers or the internet. These artists can lead them into the realm of classical music, step by step,' said Ho. 'There is also more creativity involved and more room for development. In the past, classical music was just about Mozart - something quite distant to young people. Now they can enjoy the music more', with classical instruments playing popular tunes. Duel said one of their goals was to show young people the appealing qualities of classical music. 'In classical music, education is very important. Wherever we play, we want to get kids excited about classical music,' said Owen. 'It's all about them watching and getting excited.' They believed that the masters of classical music would have used studio effects to enrich their works if the technology had been available during their lifetime. 'We use effects in the studio to complement the music that we have,' said Scott. 'I think if Mozart was alive today, he would have done a similar thing.' Duel will perform at 8pm on November 5 and 6 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets at $400, $300, $200 and $100, with half-price concessions for students available on Urbtix at 2734 9009.