PREVIOUS COMPOSERS & PERFORMERS
International Composers & Performers
- Past & Present -
Composers featured at the Festival are amongst the best in the world. Their works have been carefully selected from many hundreds of submissions received for their quality, special beauty, excitement or 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 Hess Composer
Nigel is a multi-award-winning British composer who studied music at Cambridge where he was Music Director of the Footlights Revue Company. He has composed numerous famous scores for American and British television and contributed many scores as House Composer for Royal Shakespeare Company. Nigel has also composed a great deal of concert music, including a Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Prince of Wales and recorded by Lang Lang.
Composer in Residence
Born 1943, Paul is self-taught. Since the age 20 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 is a specialist in compositions for harp.
Composer in Residence
Originally from Qatar, composer Ash Madni has drawn on a lifetime of exotic influences and experiences from the East and West to create his latest compositions. Whilst Ash has used instruments like the Duduk, Tam-Tam, Erhu in his compositions, his mission is to blend Eastern ideas with Western Classical mission.
Award-winning British flautist Daisy Noton at the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department. She was a woodwind finalist in BBC Young Musician 2020 and a winner many international competitions. Daisy has performed as soloist with the London Mozart Players and in prestigious venues from Venice to Glyndebourne, St John Smiths Square to Duke’s hall London and locally at White Rock and Opus Theatre, etc. and will be principal flute at the BBC proms this summer.
Composer & Pianist
An incredibly talented and charismatic British pianist and composer. He gave his first solo performance with the National Youth Orchestra at the age of 8 and has since performed all over the world in many prestigious venues with many renowned orchestras, as well as with leading artists. His mantra is to make the world a better place through music.
Anna & Taja Astar
Composer & Lyricist
Russian-born, in 2007 Taja & Anna left for Finland where they were able to get officially married. Taja was trained as a classical pianist - MA in Piano Performance from St. Petersburg State Conservatory while Anna has a BA in Linguistics and MA in Musicology. As a creative unit, they used to write stories for children, until, in 2015, they composed their first song inspired by performance of the Swedish opera singer Peter Mattei.
Garry is a British contemporary classical composer, known for composing music for television series. He composes commercially released music which has been performed and broadcast by the likes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, John Etheridge, Christopher Warren-Green and many others from around the world. Garry is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the MCPS, the British Academy of Songwriters Composers and Authors and the Performing Rights Society.
Ian Livingstone is a British Ivor Novello award-winning composer, musician and music producer. 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, together with contributing songs, music, orchestrations and full scores for movies such as Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince,
Dominik Scherrer is an award winning British-Swiss composer who lives and works in London. He is widely known globally for his music in some of the best premium television dramas and films; Netflix’s Requiem, Ripper Street which earned him an Ivor Novello Award and RTS Award Nomination, The Missing (2015 Primetime Emmy Nomination), Amazon’s The Collection (Ivor Novello Nomination), Agatha Christie’s Marple (Ivor Novello Nomination) , etc.
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, Franco 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 Argean Dusk July 2022 at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings.
Olajide Paris is an American composer based in the former soviet Republic of Georgia since 2012 where he composes music and produces soundtracks for clients around the world. He has created music for over 100 films, games and corporate projects including providing orchestrations for the 2016 Capcom XBOX release, Dead Rising 4. He has given lectures on the subject of film music at Los Angeles City College, Tbilisi Conservatory and the Georgian National Film Center.
Tim is the first ever British prizewinner at the International Karl Davidov Competition in Latvia. Born in 1995, Tim began playing the cello at the age of eight, studying with his mother, Julia Desbruslais, and is currently studying in the ‘Solo Class’ of Leonid Gorokhov at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover. Tim made his debut concerto performance at the age of 14. Since then he has performed as soloist with renowned orchestras including the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Mozart Players.
Sarah Thurlow was born in Bromley, Kent and joined the Royal College of Music in 1992. She held an RCM Exhibition and graduated with First Class Honours, winning a Constant and Kit Lambert Scholarship. Sarah continued at the RCM as a postgraduate, She now works as a busy freelance orchestral clarinettist, performing with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Composer in Residence
(2013 & 2015)
Nobuya Monta was born in Osaka, Japan. He studied oboe 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 at Goldsmiths’ College in London. Maestro Monta is a Guest Professor at the Otemon Gakuin University and has many major works to his name including concerti, ballets as well as several operas.
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. Piatti's compositions have been premiered all over the world. 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.
Associate Conductor (2022)
Born in Hong Kong, Jack began his piano studies at the age of five and violin studies at the age of eight. He later graduated with honours at Royal Academy of Music and at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Jack founded the Hornton Chamber Orchestra and appeared as conductor and soloist on piano and violin. He has won several notable prizes for conducting and has also taken part in the Verbier Festival as one of the four young conductors in the Conducting Mentorship Program, where he assisted Valery Gergiev, Andras Schiff and Pinchas Zukerman.
Hailed as one of Britain's greatest talents (Hollywood Vienna 2019) Eleanor was educated at Queenswood School on both music and drama scholarships. Now a student at the Royal Academy of Music, she is an accomplished singer, actress, double bassist, and bass guitarist. She has performed under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, Sakari Oramo, Sir Mark Elder, and Edward Gardiner. Eleanor recently made her solo debut with the BBC Concert Orchestra recording The Way of Light by Nigel Hess which she will be performing at the International Composers Festival 2022.
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 is currently working on her second album Melody Diaries with Yellow Rose Record Company.
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.
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.
Stephen Warbeck’s is one of the most successful British composers working in film today. His many credits include Shakespeare in Love, for which he won an Oscar Award for Best Original Score; Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Working Title/Universal), Billy Elliott (Tiger Aspect/Working Title), Birthday Girl (Portobello Films/Film Four/Miramax), Quills (Industry Entertainment/Fox Searchlight), Mrs Brown (Ecosse Films/Miramax) and My Son the Fanatic (BBC/Zephyr Films/Miramax).
In 1985 Justin formed the Locrian Ensemble organising tours, recordings, broadcasts and establishing a long-running concert series at St. Martin-In-The-Fields. In 1994 he was appointed Principal cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra, a position he still holds along with artistic director and managing the orchestra. Justin has performed as a soloist and in many ensembles nationally and internationally in varied musical genres ranging from the BBC Proms to performing with Eric Clapton.
Violinist / Leader (2022)
Adrain has freelanced in many professional orchestras such as the RPO, LCO and English National Ballet. He is involved with many educational charities, coaches inspiring young violinists working with the National Children’s Orchestra, London Schools Symphony Orchestra and others. With appearances as diverse as with Kylie Minogue, Katherine Jenkins, Burt Bacharach and Sir Simon Rattle as well as many others. Adrian alsoobtained a masters degree in Medical Immunology
Composer Noelia Escalzo was born in Argentina and graduated from the National University of Córdoba with a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching Musical Composition and a Conducting degree from the Buenos Aires University. She studied violin and piano at the Provincial Music Conservatory with Felix Garzon. Noelia is an international musical producer, conductor of youth orchestras and choirs, singer, pianist and Professor of Music Composition in Córdoba Argentina.
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 as well as Professor of Sound Art at the Academy of Fine Arts of Frosinone. His compositions 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.
Philip is a freelance musician living in London. He concentrates mainly on composing but is also a pianist, organist and teacher. He studied music at Cambridge University, where he was an organ scholar and composer for the famous Footlights Revue. Philip’s instrumental and choral music is widely performed and published. His musical Casanova premiered in 2008 at Greenwich Playhouse. As a pianist Philip performs widely, with recent engagements at the London’s Mansion House, St James’ Palace and Windsor Castle.
Mexican composer Carlos Salomon, studied composition at the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City as well as in the USA and Japan. His style enhances the roots of traditional Mexican music. He has composed works for symphony orchestra and chamber music; some of his works have played in Sydney, Europe and the USA as well as in several documentaries and movies. We feel honoured to welcome maestro Salomon in person for the first time at the Festival!
Composer in Residence (2012)
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 and acted as musical director for other productions.
Julian was born in London and was a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Licentiate) plays the flute and the piano. Composition did not feature amongst Julian’s musical studies and it is only much later that he has come to compose, mainly for the piano, inspired by various events and characters he encounters. Music has always been Julian’s passion. He is inspired by his and his family’s experiences to produce melodic pieces which make an impact and are memorable. Parisian Joy is no exception.
Composer & Pianist
English pianist and composer Penny Loosemore studied at Manchester University. She was an independent journalist.
Based in Brighton, Penny Loosemore works as a hotel and events pianist with various combinations (piano solo, piano & violin, a-cappella) and with the Brighton Film Quartet (piano, clarinet, cello and violin). She performs at events, weddings and corporate functions.
Composer & Pianist
Fiona was born in Cardiff. At fourteen, she was awarded a scholarship to study piano and music theory at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and within two years, she was a regular performer on Welsh language television and radio, singing and playing her own material. She has spent many years working as a singer, pianist, songwriter and bandleader.
Howard Blake was born in London and grew up in Brighton. His mother played piano and violin, and his father sang tenor in the church choir. At the age of 18, he won the Hastings Musical Festival Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied piano with Harold Craxton and composition with Howard Ferguson; however, he found himself at odds with his contemporaries in regard to musical style. He virtually stopped composing, instead becoming interested in film, and on leaving the Academy briefly worked as a film projectionist at the National Film Theatre.
Actor, director, screenwriter, novelist, composer, and lyricist, Michael's full film and television c.v. can be seen at the Internet Movie Data Base. Michael's novels are published by Cabernet Books Ltd and are available as paperbacks or as e-books on Amazon
Composer & Cellist
Thaniel King was born in London in 2001 and has Jamaican roots. He studied cello and composition at Trinity Music Conservatory. He is a passionate composer and is being currently mentored by the ICF artistic director, composer Polo Piatti.
Pedro Villarroig was born in Madrid. He began his musical studies in the Royal Senior Conservatory of Music in Madrid aged 19. He has written chamber and orchestral works (nine symphonies, concertos and symphonic poems) and has worked with more than 30 symphonic orchestras. His works have been performed in prestigious concert halls like Carnegie Hall of New York, Chamber Hall of the Berliner Philharmonie, and Bolshoi Zal Konservatori of Moscow.
Tasoulla Christou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, and initially studied the piano at the National Conservatoire of Greece and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After an early career as a performer and teacher, she turned to composition. She now works professionally as a composer. Her compositions have been performed in London and other venues in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia.
Praised by international acclaimed artists Lalo Schifrin, Paul McCartney, Elmer Bernstein, Andrea Griminelli, Alberto Lysy, Gabriel Yared, Astor Piazzolla, among others, Sergio Puccini is a guitarist with a distinguished international concert career. Born in Argentina, Puccini has captivated audiences in many countries with his expressive performances and solid technique. He made his debut at the famous Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires at 25, playing a duet with outstanding violinist Alberto Lysy
Composer & Pianist
Alexei Knupffer of Russian born parents 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.
Born in Como, Jacopo moved to Milan to study music. After graduating in Composition at the Milan Conservatory, he attended Music for Film for the Academy of Milan for three years, with masters such as Giovanni Venosta and Franco Piersanti. Composer of music for short films as well as music assistant at the Roberto Cacciapaglia studio, His compositions are the result of the fusion and encounter of many musical genres: from classical to soundtracks, from minimalism to a bluesy and jazzy nuances.
Composer & Pianist
Born and raised in the Australian outback, Australian composer and pianist Emili Rackemann is carving her way into the hearts and minds of her devotees. Emili’s views her role as a composer as a storyteller, preferring to speak of herself as a composer of “aural tapestry” rather than one specific genre. With seven album releases and over 140 original piano compositions, Rackemann is dedicated to contributing her creative journey towards giving Australian women a voice in the world of composition.
In recent years, Patrick Hawes has emerged as one of the country’s most popular and inspirational composers. Patrick was nominated for a Classical Brit award and was voted by Classic FM listeners as the fastest ever and highest new entry into the station’s Hall of Fame. The standout track Quanta Qualia became a hit with audiences across the world and the New Zealand star Hayley Westenra recorded it for her own award-winning album Odyssey.Patrick has been a big supporter of the ICF from its very beginnings.
Bruno Coulais is a well-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.
Alex Marrupe is a composer and guitar player from Madrid, Spain. He gained professional qualifications as a classical guitarist from the “Conservatorio Profesional de Getafe”, finishing with Honours. He studied electric guitar and flamenco guitar with differents teachers. Alex studied composition and modern harmony with different teachers and holds a Masters Degree in Composition for Audiovisual Media from the Centro superior Katarina Gurska. Currently, Alex works as a teacher, composer and performer.
Composer & Pianist
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. Her music is also used in theatre and dance. She has produced three music albums.
Promoting Beautiful Music Since 2012
'The only reason why human beings listen to music, is not to admire how clever the composer might be, but to be able to feel something'
London-based opera singer Katerina Mina is a British spinto soprano, born in Cyprus. Katerina studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama; she is a prize-winner in two International Singing Competitions and the recipient of the Russian Federation’s Medal for ‘Peace and Friendship’. She has performed at internatianally renowned venues, including, amongst others, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hackney Empire and St John’s Smith Square, Katerina’s passion for singing has led her to record a new CD Album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.