SELECTED COMPOSERS (2022)
Composers featured at the Festival are selected amongst the best in the world. The music has been carefully selected from many hundreds of submissions received for their quality, diversity, special beauty, excitement and emotional impact.
Debbie Wiseman OBE
One of the UK’s most successful female music ambassadors, Debbie is in demand as a composer and conductor. She has won two Ivor Novello Awards, a TRIC Award and the Gold Badge from BASCA and is a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music. She was honoured with an OBE for services to the music and film industry.
Nigel works extensively as a composer for television, theatre, film and the concert hall. He has composed for over twenty Royal Shakespeare Company productions as well as numerous television scores, and is well-known to Classic FM listeners for his music to Ladies in Lavender performed by violinist Joshua Bell with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Nigel's Piano Concerto was commissioned by the Prince of Wales and recorded by Lang Lang.
Composer in Residence
Born 1943, Paul is self-taught. Since the age of twenty, he has scored over 150 TV series and one-off dramas. He has conducted his own music in concert in England, France, Italy, Turkey, New Zealand and America and composes prolifically for the harp.
Yerkesh Shakeyev is a renowned composer from Kazakhstan. His musical journey took him from a hugely successful pop career to writing symphonic music. He recently had two acclaimed concerts in London and has released several albums, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra among others, at Abbey Road and Air Studios.
Alex is a Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated composer and has won the Ivor Novello award for Best Film Score of The Year for The First Grader. He has composed scores to over 60 movies and TV series including Black Mirror, Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd and Nelson Mandela - long walk to freedom. He has a unique ability to collaborate with artists from different countries and cultures.
Thomas Hewitt Jones
Thomas is a British composer and music producer predominantly working in contemporary classical and commercial music. In 2003 Thomas won BBC Young Composer of the Year and in 2009 he received a BBC Music Magazine Premiere Album award. Thomas released a new single Can You Hear Me in order to raise awareness of mental health and encourage those in need to speak up in May 2020 during Covid lockdown.
Chris is a composer and producer who comfortably works in many genres from recording with the LSO to No1 selling pop stars Mika and Chesney Hawkes. He is best known for his scores to Landmark BBC TV series with Jeremy Paxman, David Dimbleby, Francesco da Mosto and Fiona Bruce. Chris has released many successful albums and is a popular composer at the ICF. Hastings Sinfonia will be performing his beautiful work Aegean Dusk July 2022 at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings.
Leandro Gardini is an award-winning Brazilian composer of an international career.
He was awarded the first prize in the prestigious Berlin International Film Scoring Competition (2018) and APCA (2011).
He’s the founder of Gardini School, and the acclaimed Scoring Tools Masterclass.
Michael graduated with first class honours (BMus) in composition from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2008. His concert music has earned him a place on the Sound and Music Shortlist and performers of his work include the RTE Vanbrugh Quartet, Ensemble 10/10, pianist Artur Pereira and classical guitarist Laura Young.
Having worked as an orchestrator for the Oscar-winning Gabriel Yared in 2008, he now writes music for TV, film and video games, as well as for the concert hall.
Composer & Pianist
Antonio D’Antò is a pianist, composer and conductor, a Professor of Harmony, Composition, Instrumentation, and Orchestration in the upper courses of the "L. Refice" of Frosinone near Rome and also Professor of Sound Art at the Academy of Fine Arts of Frosinone. His works have been performed in Italy and abroad by prestigious interpreters and orchestras including Symphony Orchestra of the Slovenian RTV of Ljubljana; Cali Symphony Orchestra in Colombia; Orchestra of Rome and Lazio, etc.
Composer & Pianist
Composer & Pianist
A prize-winning French pianist and composer, Véronique began composing at the age of 10. Published at Editions H. Lemoine at 13, she wrote her 1st piano Concerto at 14. Her multifaceted compositions have been performed internationally, her pieces are frequently programmed as compulsory works in competitions such as L.Bellan, Les Clés d’Or, Concours Steinway-Prodige Art. Her own Piano Method will be published in 2022 and 2023 by F2M Editions". Passionate and creatively curious, she's always eager to explore and compose for various instruments and in miscellaneous styles and genres.
Eleni is an Award - winning Film and Media Composer and Music Producer from Athens, Greece. Three times nominee and one time winner of Best Original Music in A Play Award in Greece and Cyprus. Eleni has composed music for numerous international theatre productions, TV, short films, and feature documentaries awarded in American and International Film Festivals. Her music is regularly aired on prominent Classical radio stations such as the National Greek Radio, WQXR FM, and WPRB FM in New York. Her music has been performed in various Jazz and Classical venues all over the World
Simon is a British composer and pianist who graduated from The Royal Academy of Music with several prizes for composition, orchestration and piano.
He is known for his works for unusual instruments, probably the best known being Concerto for Serpent and Orchestra and arranging works from Queen to Andrew Lloyd Weber, his arrangement of the music of Queen becoming a Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. He has played principle keyboard for shows such as Les Miserables
Bruno Coulais is an internationally renowned French composer, most widely known for his music on film soundtracks. In the UK, he is mostly known for scoring the music for the film The Chorus by Christophe Barratier, nominated at the 77th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Song. Coulais has written the music for hundreds of films and stage productions, winning him numerous prestigions prizes from around the world.
Lisa Cullum is a London based composer and classically trained pianist who has practised as a Music Specialist in different countries. In the last two years, she has devoted her time solely to mastering her skills in composition and in 2020 released her debut album ELLE which is where 'Liberty' can be found. ELLE was also nominated for best neo-classical album 2020. She released her second album “Melody Diaries” with Yellow Rose Records in January of this year where two of her pieces have also been named in the top 10 in the World Song writing Awards
Tom Howe is a British musician who has composed music for over 100 films and tv series. His work includes music for the much loved 'Great British Bake Off' as well as 'Farmageddon', 'Early Man' (Annie nominated), 'Upside-Down Magic', etc. In 2020, Tom collaborated with Marcus Mumford on the theme-song and soundtrack for the Apple TV+ production Ted Lasso, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Tom's music for blockbusters films include 'Wonder Woman', 'Legend of Tarzan' and 'Disney’s Mulan'. In June 2020, Tom was made a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars).
Ian Livingstone is a British Ivor Novello award-winning composer, musician andpro ducer. He has composed over 100 scores for multi-million selling titles and franchises such as Formula1, Battlefield, Warhammer, Total War, Lego, Batman, Forza, StarTrek, Harry Potter & Marvel. He has also written music for numerous television series such as Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and the BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee & The Repair Shop
Garry DW Judd
Garry is a British contemporary classical composer, known also for composing music for film and television. His music has been performed and broadcast by the likes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, John Etheridge, Christopher Courtney Pine and is regularly played on film and TV throughout the world. Garry' classical music has been featured on Scala Radio, Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and others worldwide.
Kevin began his musical life as most musicians do by playing the recorder, this led to the trumpet and then the trombone. At the age of 15 he joined the Army as a trombone player quickly rising through the playing ranks of the Junior Army Service and then onto Keller Hall in London. Here he studied trombone under William Teskey (Principal trombone Covent Garden) and Dennis Bayton (Taverners Big Band). Kevin also studied theory and composition under R.G.Swift. At present he is teaching in Berkshire and is also the musical director of The Allegro Wind Band and Andover Light Orchestra, he regularly writes and arranges for these ensembles.
Composer & Pianist
Polo Piatti is an award-winning British-Argentine neo-romantic composer, concert pianist and conductor. He is one of the very few high-profile international musicians concentrating exclusively on the creation, performance, and promotion of melodic classical music. He founded and remains the artistic director of the Hastings Sinfonia Orchestra, the International Composers Festival, ClassicUs Salons, and more recently the Opus Theatre. Piatti is a member of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, the Ivor's Academy and the British Music Writers Council.
Composer & Pianist
Amy Fairchild is a composer, classically trained pianist, and music instructor from Oregon, USA. She holds a degree in Music Theory and Composition from Linfield College. Amy’s recent album of her piano compositions, “Serendipities”, displays her melodic and haunting style and draws on her love of the natural world. Amy’s passion is writing for students of the piano, from beginners to more advanced learners. Her pieces provide students with contemporary and beautiful options that are a joy to play and build technique.
Markovich earned a Master's from The Juilliard School in performance, not composition. After years of performance, this award-winning clarinetist took her first composition lesson at 65...for fun. Five years later, she witnessed the world premiere of her symphonic tone poem and was recently featured on ASCAP's New Music Friday.
Mexican composer, author, lecturer, designer and MIT-trained engineer specializing in speech recognition and language-processing technology. José is best known for his compositions for cello performed by artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Carlos Prieto, Guy Johnston, Benedict Klöckner, Maximilian Hornung, Sébastien Hurtaud, Andrei Ionita and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. His music is melodic and lyrical, and is often inspired by his Latin American roots. His compositions have been performed by over 170 orchestras around the world.
Grounded in classical music, Bob’s formative years were also spent writing for and performing in an a cappella group, writing for musical theatre and playing keyboards. Now his love of harmony and entertainment are put to use as a production music composer. Visit his official website to find out more.
Diane studied piano from the age of five entering the Brighton Musical Festival every year as a child. "I was composing music from a very young age and accompanied a soprano and violinist in my teens”. After having her family, Diane turned to fine art however, was given the opportunity to write for a Community Choir and then became Composer in Residence to St Laurence in Hawkhurst. She continues to record and give recitals as venues open after the pandemic.
Composer & Pianist
Alexei Knupffer studied piano at the Vienna Conservatoire and composition at the Guildhall School of Music in London. Commissions include Vauxhall Motors, Reuters, PLM, Gulf Air, London Transport and music for horse dressage. Classical compositions include piano albums, pieces for string orchestra, sonatas for violin, cello and piano trio and many songs. Alexei was soloist in his Five Lyric Pieces for Piano and Orchestra and 2nd Piano Concerto in Bulgaria on two occasions. His philosophy is melody will triumph.
Composer & Singer
Dawn Walters has set all the songs from Shakespeare’s plays and 26 sonnets for ithe nternet company, ‘The Bardcode’. ‘Pro Dolorosa’, a lament, for those affected by Covid, which was premiered by the Swan Consort. Elaine Dave, Soprano, and Graziana Presicce, Pianist, perform with Dawn as Allegoria.
John Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. With a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most popular, recognizable, and critically acclaimed film scores in cinematic history, including those of the Star Wars series, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, the first two Homa Alone films, the first Jurassic Park films, Schindler’s List, etc.. Williams has been associated with director Steven Spielberg since 1974, composing music for all but three of his feature films. At the festival, we will be performing his iconic music for the Harry Potter film (arr. arr. Jerry Brubaker)
Klaus Badelt was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1967. He is known for his collaborations with Hans Zimmer, helping to write scores for dozens of critically acclaimed films including The Thin Red Line, The Prince of Egypt, Gladiator, and many more. Independently, he is known for his work on Hollywood blockbuster films such as Equilibrium, The Widowmaker, Basic, etc., and for his work in French cinema. Badelt started his musical career composing for movies and commercials in his homeland. In 1998, composer Zimmer invited him to work at Media Ventures in Santa Monica, California, his studio co-owned by Jay Rifkin. We will be performing his music for the film Pirates of the Caribbean at the festival in 2022.
Matthew is a composer and orchestrator whose music began to receive public performances while he was at Oxford but studying classics. Essentially self-taught his music has received performances by the BBC Concert Orchestra, the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and many more. He is best known for his short orchestral pieces written in the British light music tradition.
Vlada Kupriyanova is a Ukrainian composer and pianist. She graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where she studied with A. Mnacakanian, who was a student of Shostakovich. She began her career as a classical composer, developing a passion for cinematic music and started to experiment with different sounds by mixing orchestral and synthetic sounds. She likes music that is melodic and simple. Since many of her melodies are coming from Slavic tradition, it embodies a unique style of composition.
Two-time Grammy Award and Academy Award winning film composer, record producer, singer and songwriter A.R. Rahman is one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He has composed and produced original scores and songs for more than 145 films in various languages, including the critically acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire, theme of which will be performed at our ‘At The Movies’ concert. Rahman also founded the Sunshine Orchestra, an ambitious symphonic orchestra comprising young adults from socially and economically deprived backgrounds..
Daxter Yeo is an award-winning Australian composer and one of Australia’s finest specialist orthodontists. An academic by heart, Daxter has read music with some of Australia’s most distinguished composers, including Peter Sculthorpe and Colin Brumby. With a career spanning over 30 years, Daxter’s distinctive compositional voice speaks with a unique emotional mix of world music and contemporary classical and baroque elements. He believes that beautiful music is a powerful medicine for the heart and soul.
Rosemary Duxbury is a British classical composer writing music ‘to touch the heart and inspire the soul’. Her compositions for piano, voice, chamber groups, orchestra and choir, are regularly performed and broadcast internationally. She also writes for film (features, shorts, documentary), multi-media, theatre and dance. She has produced four music albums.
Besides his compositional work, Jonathan is a professional cellist, organist and pianist. He also plays many other instruments to a high standard as well as transcribing handwritten manuscripts ready for performing, printing and publishing.
Dominik Scherrer is an award winning British-Swiss composer. His music can be heard on some of the finest television dramas, earning him two Ivor Novello Awards (Ripper Street and Requiem), a Primetime Emmy Nomination for The Missing,two further Ivor Novello Nominations: for Amazon’s The Collection, and Marple, where Dominik’s iconic theme runs across all six series
Edward “Ted” Messerschmidt is a versatile composer, performer, and educator. Ted’s compositions have been performed by renowned musicians on several continents. He was recently named a finalist and a semi-finalist in two different categories of the American Prize Composition contest. As a performer, Ted has subbed with professional orchestras and worked on trombone for HBO. Ted is currently the Music Director and Arts Department Chair at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Kenneth Roberts works as musical director for numerous companies at home and abroad. He has played and conducted at many prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Festival Hall, etc. His second opera, ‘Mister Butterfly,’ was premiered in Hong Kong and featured in a BBC World Service documentary. He also enjoys giving lecture recitals around the country ranging from Mozart to ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton.
He has worked extensively in New Hampshire, USA, on educational music projects and in 2002 fulfilled a commission from the Purcell School in association with the Vaughan-Williams Trust as part of their centenary celebrations to mark the birth of Sir William Walton.
Composer, Lyricist, Actor, Singer, Director, Screenwriter and Novelist, Michael’s international credits include Film, Television, Theatre, Radio and the Concert Hall. His ‘Suit Suite’ was recorded by the LPO string quartet Londinium IV, his Cello Concerto was premiered by the Docklands Sinfonia and his latest work is a new Symphony ‘Nexus’.
Performed throughout the UK, America, on the BBC and Australian radio, Clive’s music tells unusual and fascinating stories, as in "Messages from the Sea” or explores important themes such as “In Time of Pandemic” and “Remember Me”. Recently, internationally renowned Onyx Brass premiered “Music for Rooftops” on the roof of the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne! Choral singing is a major influence in Clive’s music, he has sung with many major orchestras including the RPO and LSO in the Royal Albert and Festival Halls, the O2 Arena and other prestigious venues.
David Coles has been playing and writing music from the age of 12 when he learned to play the guitar. Performing in coffee houses in his teens and beyond he desired a more complete set of skills to round out his musicianship. He studied Jazz at the prestigious Capilano University in the early 1980's and gained a different perspective on music. He released a solo guitar album in 2011 called, First Light, which fuses jazz and folk. He has also been composing music for Indy film projects, orchestral music for competitions, and publishing music on various streaming services like Spotify. In the past 5 years, David has been working in many different genres as a composer fusing his love for jazz and appreciation for classical music.
David Newman is one of today’s most accomplished creators of music for ﬁlm. In his 30-year career he has scored more than 110 ﬁlms, ranging from War of the Roses, Matilda, Bowﬁnger, and Heathers to the more recent Girls Trip, Night School and Serenity. His music has brought to life the critically acclaimed dramas Brokedown Palace and Hoffa; comedies such as Galaxy Quest and Throw Momma from the Train; and award-winning animated ﬁlms Ice Age, The Brave Little Toaster, and Anastasia. He holds an Academy Award nomination for his score to Anastasia.
Daniel Woodward was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in 1977. My father was a working musician, so music was always a big part of my life from a young age. My first instrument is percussion, but I have also been playing piano from the age of eight. I first began composing around the age of twelve, and have not stopped since.
Tasoulla Christou is a classical composer based in Portugal, whose compositions have been performed internationally (Europe, UK, Asia, USA and South Africa) at venues such as the Mansion House (City of London), Konzerthaus Berlin and Gasteig Munich. Her awards include the IAWM Miriam Gideon Prize for New Music. She is a member of the Worshipful Company of Musicians
Born in 1985, Dave Dexter is a North Yorkshire-based composer. Unified by tonality and melodic development, Dave's works describe a disparate swath of styles - Romantic orchestral tone poems and fanfares, choral polyphony both sacred and secular, small string ensembles - with departures into solo piano, harp, organ and music box.
Emili Rackemann is a classically trained piano, composer and teacher of music education in Victoria, Australia. Since her graduate studies she has released nine albums of original piano compositions, her most recent titled ‘Meraki’ which a delicate collection of minimalist piano pieces inspired by the simplicity of life in the Victorian High Country. While Emili continues to compose and teach music education, she also arranges in her spare time. Her most recent arrangement of Clara Schumann’s Concerto in A minor was recently premiered by conductor John Storgårds with Lapland Chamber Orchestra and Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu
Composer & Pianist
Composer George Volkov studied viola and graduated from the Music College and Conservatory in St. Petersburg. He served as principal violist in the Cairo Opera Symphony Orchestra in Cairo, Egypt. In 2013 he moved to the United States and settled in the San Diego area, soon after he began teaching and writing music. George is interested in writing traditional classical music and is delighted to take part in the festival.
Taja & Anna Astar
Taja & Anna Astar are a family and creative duo who work at the interface between poetry and music in various realizations, with a focus on musical theatre. Taja is a classical pianist, currently pursuing a Master’s degree in composition in Piteå, Sweden. Anna is a poet, librettist and songwriter.
Khaled Mouzanar is a Lebanese composer, songwriter, writer & film producer. He has composed music for films, including Caramel (UCMF Award- Best Music at Cannes Film Festival 2008), and Where Do We Go Now? (Best Music award- Stockholm Film International Festival 2011). In 2017, Mouzanar composed the music, co-wrote, and produced Nadine Labaki’s film Capernaum (Jury Prize Winner at Cannes Film Festival 2018, Best Foreign Film nomination at Academy Awards, BAFTA and Golden Globes). In 2021, he composed the score of Wissam Smayra’s “Perfect Strangers” film. The movie produced by Netflix, has reached the top 3 of Netflix’s list of the most watched movies beginning of 2022.
A young composer whose compositional work has been described as “a great spiritual experience,” John Baxter seeks to explore the tense and mercurial chasm between musician and listener. After his time as an undergrad at Yale University, John pursued a Masters degree in Theory and Composition/Film Scoring at NYU. He is currently a DMA candidate in composition at the Frost School of Music, studying composition with Dr. Lansing McLoskey. A recent winner of The American Prize in Composition and three Best Original Score awards at film festivals, John's work can be explored by visiting in his website.