BACKGROUND & PURPOSE
We are very proud to announce the second Hastings International Composer’s Festival in the UK with the support of Hastings Borough Council and St Mary In The Castle. The Festival is open to anyone interested in music and the arts as a whole and will premiere works by both, established and upcoming composers from around the world. This unique and exciting venture will focus on accessible classical music that brings passion and sensitivity to the forefront and allows composers to return to music that brings romance to delight the soul; charm and sensuality to enlighten and beautify our world. The Composers Festival offers the opportunity for today’s composers to write and present soulful, moving and emotionally provoking music; the chance to have their works publicly performed and acknowledged in truly evocative surroundings.
The Composers Festival was conceived and founded by British-Argentine composer and concert pianist Polo Piatti. His works are known around the world for their accessible beauty and highly emotional content. As the Festival’s Artistic Director, Polo is bringing flair and tremendous experience to bear on establishing this Festival as an annual, and prestigious, international event. The Festival has two main purposes: firstly, to promote the creation and performance of classical music of the highest quality specifically created with the purpose of appealing to, and having an effect on, human emotions. Also, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote future working relationships between modern classical composers and practitioners in other arts disciplines, including talks, workshops, demonstrations, discussions and networking opportunities.
OBSERVATIONS by the Festival's Artistic Director
"In recent years a strong trend has developed towards the intellectualisation of music. While I recognise the importance of progression in classical music it is equally important that music as such, is accessible to all. In fact, music is the possession of everyone and should be enjoyable and all-inclusive." What I want to do by creating this Composer's Festival is to grab that inclusiveness and showcase the works of both, new and established composers who are committed to bring romance and passion back into classical music. We want to encourage new music that has a deep effect on human emotions by touching people’s hearts and invoking genuine beauty. In other words: we are not interested in "clever" classical music that seeks to make audiences "think" - only in music that aspires to make them feel!"
MUSIC SHOULD TOUCH US! "The idea that composition consists of picking out notes in some mood of random, usually tuneless, ‘inspiration’ is grotesque. Music is a language that should communicate with humanity. Carols and hymns serve that purpose and the best are usually very simple. Think of Abide With Me Music is more than just setting notes down on paper and saying “Look how clever I am” The desire for something “new” is just silly when those who can’t write a melody would have us believe that this wonderful gift is a vulgar failing to be mocked." [Mark Newberry, on an article by Nigel Hess supporting accessibility and communication in music that appeared in 'Classic FM Magazine', January 2011.]
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE ORGANIZERS:
POLO PIATTI - Artistic Director is an award-winning Anglo-Argentine composer, concert pianist and performing artist. Originally from Buenos Aires and a child prodigy, he started piano lessons at the age of 3 and became a successful concert pianist and classical improviser in his youth. He left Argentina at an early age to pursue an international career. He has worked as a composer, arranger, concert pianist, musical director, conductor, teacher, artist manager and music publisher in numerous countries around the world. Piatti is considered to be one of the most influential exponents of the New Romantics movement and is work highly emotional and evocative. His latest album The Tides Of Time has been released to outstanding reviews. Polo Piatti has recently premiered his latest orchestral suite 'Sentimental Journey' in Osaka, Japan. He is now working on a commission by Musica Sacra to compose a ground breaking All-Faith Oratorio, to be recorded and world-premiered in 2013. For more information on Polo Piatti please visit the official website.
DANIELA OTHIENO - Festival Director - Daniela has extensive experience in managing projects, service teams and training programmes and in stakeholder relationship management within local government and the private sector over the past eight years. She has managed the implementation of new IT systems, business processes and introduction of completely new services, including planning, project management, recruitment, process design, training and rollout. She also has a background in cultural anthropology and is involved in a range of creative projects that seek responses to environmental and cultural issues. She worked in a voluntary capacity on last year’s festival and dealt with social media and general marketing and managed the front of house operation during the festival
DEREK CARDEN - Chief Conductor - Derek Carden started his musical career as a cathedral chorister (Rochester), then reading music at Nottingham University and the London Opera Centre. He has had a career of conducting, répétiteuring, accompanying, and teaching, specialising in opera and church music. Derek has conducted over fifty operas from the standard repertoire, as well as many rare works. He has appeared throughout the UK, and abroad, recording with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, a series of concerts nationwide with Sir Patrick Moore and several concerts with the Three British Tenors. In 2009 he conducted the inaugural Organ Concert at St Luke’s, featuring Poulenc’s ‘Organ Concerto’ played by Martin Baker, and the London Mozart Players. During the Summers of 2008 and 2012 he has been Musical Director of the Mountain Theatre, in Colorado, USA. In November 2010 he directed the first performance of an opera written especially for children ‘Hello Mr Darwin!’ composed by Paul Barker. More recently, Derek has conducted performances of ‘Dido & Aeneas’, ‘Cox & Box’ and ‘Die Fledermaus’ among others. Future plans include ‘Madame Butterfly’ and ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ (May and Dec. 2013, respectively).
NOBUYA MONTA - Composer in Residence - Born in Osaka, Japan, he studied oboe with Isamu Iwasaki at Kyoto City University of Arts and then received a master’s degree specializing in composition from Osaka Kyoiku University. He completed his studies in composition with Tim Ewers and Edward Gregson at Goldsmiths’ College. He also writes a concert review for one of Japanese major musical magazines, Ongaku-Gendai. His major works include: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano No.3 premiered by Michele Incenzo and broadcast on the Vatican Radio, the Opera “Otohime”, his «Œuvres pour Clarinette» premiered in 2008 Paris at the Maison du Japon, the Sonate de Fleurs pour Contrebasse et Piano premiered by Detmar Kurig in Aachen, Germany, his Concerto for Cello and Strings premiered in London, Concerto for Piano and Strings premiered in Oxford and his Concerto for Violin and Orchestra premiered by Lisa Ueda and the Kingston Chamber Orchestra premiered in June 2012. His Sonata for Clarinet and Piano No.2 and No.3 have been published by Armalin Musica-Padova. For more information please see the official website here.ROBERT DRAPER - Director of Musica Visceralis, attached to the festival - Robert is a British composer with major works for orchestra, piano, string quartet and other genres to his credit. A pianist himself he studied piano with Evgenia Chudinovich as well as music and composition at the University of London. For Robert, music should not be created or appreciated by reference to a Darwinian type filter as to how its evolution and place in history might be forcibly “progressed”. On the contrary, music is for him a product of the soul, a window into it, and should remain so. Robert is a tonal composer: unapologetically so. His music has its own unique individual style and tends to be classical in terms of its form, but at all times the driving force is the emotional effect that the music has upon him when he creates and develops new material. Robert has co-founded and is presently the Director of Musica Visceralis, a growing movement of international tonal composers attached to the festival. For more information about Robert Draper please visit his official website here
JONATHAN BRUCE - Music Coordinator studied violoncello under Peter Allington, rising from primary school orchestras to Master Classes with Adrian Shepherd, MBE. He is currently principal cellist with the Lewes Concert Orchestra, and with the Eastbourne Orchestral Society. Both of these positions have now been held for over 10 years. For six years he studied musicianship at the Junior Department of Trinity College of Music in London where he also developed his pianoforte skills under Patricia Holmes. Jonathan was trained as an organist by Keith Apps at St Luke's Church in Silverhill, of which he is now the principal organist.
Nigel Hess is an award-winning British composer and conductor of music for TV, film, theatre and the concert platform. His scores for US and UK TV productions include 'A Woman of Substance', 'Testament', 'Wycliffe', 'Hetty Wainthropp Investigates', 'Ballykissangel' and 'New Tricks'. He earned a Classical Brits nomination for his acclaimed film score to 'Ladies in Lavender', recorded by Joshua Bell. As Music Director & House Composer to the Royal Shakespeare Company, his music was heard in many stage productions in the UK and on Broadway. Extracts from these scores formed a major part of 'Food of Love', a touring full-evening show starring Patrick Stewart and Judi Dench, later released on CD and a regular on Classic FM. His series of highly successful works for wind and brass bands have established themselves as core repertory in recent years, with many of the wind band works recorded on a Chandos disc. His 'Concerto for Piano and Orchestra' (also Classical Brit-nominated) was commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales in memory of his grandmother, and premiered and recorded by Lang Lang. Other recent commissions include The Old Man of Lochnagar (National Youth Ballet of Great Britain) and A Christmas Overture (commissioned by John Rutter). For more information about our Patron please click here
T H E A D V I S O R Y P A N E LAlisdair Bruce - Tim McDonald - Sarah Graves - Michael Short
F E S T I V A L S U P P O R T E R S
Michael Hambridge, Barbara Rogers, Annie Harpur, George Greaves, Yasmin Ornsby, Peter Chowney, Dick Edwards, Kate Francis, Marcus Weeks, Amber Rudd, Kevin Boorman, Patrick Hawes, Andy Berry, Chloe Hinton, Leigh Dyer, Ian Smallwood, Rose Jang, Tyler Hay, Lindsay Davidson, Louise Denny, Trevor Webb, Susannah Appleyard, Peter Mould, Ann & Martin Ellis, Nick Perry, Holly Finch, Takao Kanbei, Jonathan Mendenhall, Andria Degens Pantaleimon, Alistair & Audrie Bruce, Barbara Winyard, Margaret Baylis, Dani Humberstone, Richard Sumner, London Gala Orchestra, Osaka Concert Orchestra, Hastings Philharmonic Choir, Hastings Sinfonia, Sarah Thurlow Thomas, McLelland Young, Luisa-Maria Cordell, Sarah-Jane Dale, Kate Dunn, Bruce & Agnes Nicol, Martin Everett, Peter Byrom-Smith, Richard Stevens, Issy Irvin, Thomas McLelland-Young, Tim Willsone, Martina Mars, Vincent Othieno, Judy Appleyard, Susannah Appleyard, Andrew Thornton, Andy Meyers, Maria Meyers, Lisa Ueda, Jeremy Birch, Sandra Goodsell, Keith Beal, Peter Quinell, Sarah Graves, Electric Palace Cinema, The Swan Boutique Hotel, and many others ..
C O M P O S E R S P A N E L
This is a like-minded group of contemporary, living composers that share the Composers Festival's vision. These composers are committed to write for and promote tonal, non-experimental music such as the one performed yearly at the Composer's Festival. It include the following composers: Robert Draper, Peter Byrom-Smith, Andy Meyers, Nobuya Monta, Polo Piatti, Michael Short, Jonathan Bruce, Simon Proctor, Keith Beal and Kevin Riley.
The panel is planing to meet in February 2013 under the umbrella organization Musica Visceralis. Place and time will be disclosed to you via email as soon as possible. (If you share our ideals and are interested in being part of this panel please let us know. Thank you.________________________________________________________________________________________________
Lithuanian maestro Aleksandras Simelis conducting the London Gala Orchestra (leader: Dominic Moore) at the festival in 2012.