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International Composers Festival

24th - 26th September, 2015

Written By Julian Norridge

  • Photograph by Peter Mould

  • Photograph by Peter Mould

The third International Composers Festival, the only event of its kind anywhere in the world, will take place at the end of next month (September 24th to 26th) with four concerts over three days in Hastings and Bexhill.

The purpose of the festival is to promote the composition, performance and enjoyment of high quality, melodic classical music by living composers, who are invited to submit music on a given theme, which this year is ‘Pictures’. The chosen works will be performed by the International Festival Orchestra, the Composer Festival Chorus, several prestigious ensemble groups, the Battle Abbey School Choir and by a number of outstanding international soloists.

In keeping with this year’s theme, the final concert will include familiar music from some of the best known films and television dramas of recent years, including ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Schindler’s List’ and ‘Wolf Hall’. Many of the composers who wrote the music are coming to the Festival.

The first concert on Thursday September 24th in All Saints’ Church in Hastings Old Town will feature the music of the distinguished Japanese composer Nobuya Monta. It will include the world premiere of his one act opera ‘Otohime’, performed in stunning national costumes by a cast who are flying in specially from Japan.

On Friday September 25th there will be a Gala Concert at St Mary’s-in-the-Castle in Hastings featuring world-premieres and performances of chosen works by composers from all over the world including Mexico, Austria, Brazil, USA, Japan and the United Kingdom. It will include excerpts from the highly anticipated Multi-Faith Oratorio 'Libera Nos' by the Hastings-based Argentinian-born composer Polo Piatti, the founder and Artistic Director of the Festival.

On the morning of Saturday September 26th the Festival moves to Bexhill for a morning concert at the De La Warr Pavilion with specially commissioned works by both established and up-and-coming composers.

The grand finale of the Festival will be a concert called ‘A Feast of Film Music’ featuring music by some of today’s best-known composers for the cinema and television. They include Stephen Warbeck (‘Shakespeare in Love’, ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’), Patrick Hawes (‘The Incredible Mr Ritchie’), Nigel Hess (‘Ladies in Lavender’), Hans Zimmer (‘Pirates of the Caribbean’), John Williams (‘Schindler’s List’) and Debbie Wiseman (‘Wolf Hall’).

A special feature of the Festival will be two Open Rehearsals, where members of the public can attend for free and see composers and musicians meeting for the first time to rehearse new works. The first will be at St Mary’s-in-the-Castle on the afternoon of Friday September 25th for that evening’s concert. The second will be at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill for the final concert of the Festival. Both will start at 3pm.

For further information and details of how and where to buy tickets, go to the Festival website at: composersfestival.com.

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