Bexhill: The International Festival of Composers returns

Polo Piatti at the International Festival of Composers 2012

Organizers promise it will be bigger and better than ever.

For the first time, all concerts will take place in the same large hall.

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Spokesperson Julian Norridge said: “There have been more entries than ever: at the last festival in 2018, 800 compositions were submitted for consideration.

“This year, that number has grown to 3,650, from 860 composers around the world, from countries as diverse as Kazakhstan, Venezuela and Lebanon. 60 were selected for the performance.

“The idea behind the festival, which was founded by Hastings resident and award-winning British-Argentinian composer Polo Piatti, was to present melodious and accessible music written today by living composers that will appeal to all.

“There will be four concerts over the three busy days. On opening night, Friday, May 20, Ovation will feature mostly new concert music performed by the dynamic 80-piece International Festival Orchestra under the direction of Principal Conductor John Andrews and Associate Conductor Jack Wong. .

“The evening will feature the premiere of Polo Piatti’s Old World Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, performed by virtuoso cellist Tim Posner, with his proud mother, the former principal cellist of the London Mozart Players, playing in the orchestra, and a performance of Anne by one of the UK’s best-known composers, Debbie Wiseman, from her magnificent album Kings and Queens.

“On Saturday morning, May 21, there will be a chamber music concert, Small is Beautiful, performed by international and local soloists, featuring the Hastings Sinfonia Wind Quintet and the Festival’s own ICF Piano Quartet.

“Composers from France and the United States will travel to Bexhill to perform their own compositions.

“On Saturday evening there will be a barnstorming concert of music from film, television and games. There will be well-known pieces from big films such as Slum Dog Millionaire – which Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer AR Rahman hopes to witness in person – the Harry Potter franchise and Pirates of the Caribbean. And there will be softer music from TV programs such as The Great British Bake Off and new music written for previously unreleased productions.

“Sunday afternoon there will be a family concert called Songs and Dances from Around the World, with specially commissioned symphonic dances reflecting music from different parts of the world, some of them choreographed and performed by the Eastbourne Academy of Dancing.

“There will be international collaborations such as a moving piece by US-based Mexican composer Jose Elizandro choreographed and performed by St Leonards-based Japanese butoh dancer Yumino Seki.

“The concert will conclude with a performance of festival patron Nigel Hess’ extraordinary The Way of Light, featuring young star Eleanor Grant, actor John Watts and St Richard’s Catholic College Choir.

“The joy of the Festival is that composers come from all over the world to hear their music performed. And they want to know how the public reacts.

“So they’re out there in the audience, and they want to talk to as many people as possible.

“It’s a unique, informal and engaging atmosphere. Challenging…and great fun.

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