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 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. 

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Paul Lewis
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.

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Tim Posner
Solo Cellist

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.


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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.

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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.

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Chris Nicolaides

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.

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Olajide Paris

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.

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Yerkesh Shakeyev

Yerkesh Shakeyev is a very popular composer from Kazakhstan. His career started from pop and developed into classical. He conducted two concerts in London and recorded 65 compositions with the London Symphonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic the LMO) in in Abbey Road Studios and Air Studios.

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Eleni Lomvardou

Eleni is a film and media composer and music producer from Athens, Greece. Three times nominee and one time winner of Best Original Music in a Play. Eleni has composed music for numerous theatre productions, TV, short films, documentaries and international film festivals. Her music is regularly aired in Greece and America.This is Eleni’s first time with the ICF.

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Daisy Noton
Solo Flautist

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.

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Oliver Poole
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. At 17 he toured Siberia is the founder of the charity Siberia Appeal to aid a public children’s hospital. He has performed all over the world in many prestigious venues with many renowned orchestras. His mantra is to make the world a better place through music.

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Ian Livingstone

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 

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Garry Judd

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.

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Matthew Curtis

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.

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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.

Antonio D'Anto

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Nobuya Monta
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.

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Polo Piatti
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.

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Jack Wong
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.

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Eleanor Grant

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.

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Justin Pearson

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. 

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Adrian Charlesworth
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 

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Alex Heffes

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. 

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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.

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Bruno Coulais

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.

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Alexei Knupffer
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.

Michael Doherty

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Lisa Cullum

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. 

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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.


Promoting Beautiful Music Since 2012

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Thaniel King
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.

'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'

Simon Proctor

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.

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Sergio Puccini
Solo Guitarist

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 

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At the next Festival, we will all remember our very much loved colleague and friend Michel Duvoisin, who passed away in 2020. Michel was part of the Festival from the very beginning and contributed to it in many ways. Wherever you are, Michel, just keep composing!
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