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The first and only festival of its kind in the world with the mission to promote and showcase high quality orchestral music that is tuneful, accessible, universally appealing and created by living composers attending the events.

The festival is held over three days, with six  concerts in Hastings and Bexhill offering an ideal opportunity to enjoy wonderful music, exchange ideas, make new friends and meet world-famous and up-and-coming composers. The festival concerts are perfect for everyone, from people new to classical music to serious music lovers. You can attend individual concerts or all of the events over the three days all in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Composers are invited to submit music that is accessible, and melodic. The best works are carefully chosen from those submitted and are performed by our large International Festival Orchestra, as well as several ensembles, numerous professional solo instrumentalists and singers.

One of the most exciting elements of our festival is our wide range of artists, from professional world-famous personalities through to talented local performers. We showcase and premiere works by both established and upcoming composers who create melodic orchestral  music, characterised by passion and sensitivity.

In 2018 we have a focus on encouraging younger audiences. With this in mind we have programmed a family concert with dance on Sunday 23rd September, are encouraging young musicians to take part by being part of the Festival Orchestra, as soloists and by performing their compositions throughout the festival.  In addition we are offering free tickets to all of our concerts for under 18s.  We believe passionately in the importance of bringing exciting, live, high quality classical music to a wider audience.


We have an important and established link with Japan and composer Nobuya Monta, we  will be premiering his first ballet 'The Crane's Wife' a specially commissioned work, based on a traditional Japanese fairy tale.  Mr Monta together with Choreographer Mayu Uesugi, 5 dancers and approximately 15 professional musicians will travel from Japan to be part of this truly International Festival.  

For performers and composers, the festival offers invaluable networking opportunities, especially with Japan, plus a great experience to have their works performed live, opportunities for new commissions, collaborations and further offers of performing themselves worldwide.


by the Artistic Director Polo PIatti


"For many years now, a strong trend has developed towards the intellectualisation of music. While I recognise and appreciate the importance of progression in classical music it is equally important that music remains accessible to all. Music should be enjoyable, not only "interesting". By creating the Composers Festival in 2012,  I wanted to maximise that inclusiveness by showcasing and promoting the works of up-and-coming as well as of established composers that are committed to bringing back the concerpt of feeling into classical music. By doing this, I want to encourage new music that has a deep effect on human emotions, music that touches people’s hearts, that evokes and champions genuine beauty, goodness and truthfulness, at its core. I am not interested in showcasing "clever" and experimental classical music that seeks to make audiences "think". On the contrary, I want to help composers that create music that aspires to make audiences feel!"

Composer Patrick Hawes

Composer Polo Piatti

Congratulations… for a great success. The world wide mix of composers, the beautiful works, the quality of musicianship shows Hastings at its best. Dick Edwards, Chairman, Hastings Old Town Residents Association

We had the unique opportunity to hear works recently created by some prodigious, talented composers and performed by equally talented musicians!

Antony Mair, Hastings Online Times


I would like to offer you my heartfelt congratulations on a fabulous weekend. It was a true joy to listen to exciting new music, which was performed in such a beautiful way. The standing ovation was thoroughly deserved, demonstrating the success of the evening. Thank you for such a wonderful event. Amber Rudd, Home Secretary

A very original music festival, quite different from the usual contemporary music events. I am very interested in the future of this festival" Ongaku Kenday, Music Now Magazine, Tokyo

Thank you so much for including me in such a great festival and for giving me such an exciting and memorable experience. .. I feel even more inspired now to commit to music and composing!

Holly Finch, student of composition

I was very impressed indeed with the weekend. I’m not an expert on classical music, but I thoroughly enjoyed both evenings. Everything was of the highest quality, as well as accessible and entertaining.  It was truly inspiring to see, and hear, such music performed here.Peter Chowney, Deputy Leader, Hastings Borough Council

Listen to 'Spring Rain' by composer Michael Heath that will be performed live and in the presenece of the composer at 'Opus Theatre' in Hastings on the Grand Opening Concert ('Passion') on Friday 21st September at 7pm