(Artistic dir: Polo Piatti) Preview By Julian Norridge

In six concerts over three music-filled days, from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd September, the International Composers Festival 2018 will feature live performances of some of the most exciting, melodic and appealing classical music being written today.

Chinese pianist Sunny Li
PICTURE: www.sunnylipiano.com

A record number of new compositions – astonishingly more than a thousand – have been submitted from all over the world for the event. Composers will be attending from places as far away as Australia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Qatar and Argentina to hear their music being played – and in some cases to perform it themselves.

Unusually, many of the composers featured will be women. A Google search for the top 100 classical music composers comes up with just one woman. For this event, women will make up around 20% of the composers featured.

Composers were asked to submit pieces which were between three and seven minutes long. Around 60 of the best were then selected to be played live during the festival by the Artistic Director and Festival founder, Hastings-based Anglo-Argentinian composer Polo Piatti.

The criteria were simple. They had to be melodic to fit the festival’s mission. They had to be practical and form part of a balanced programme for each concert. And above all they had to be good.

Explaining why he started this unique festival, Piatti says that for many years, a strong trend has developed towards the intellectualisation of music. “While I recognise and appreciate the importance of progression in classical music, it is equally important that music remains accessible to all.”

“By creating the Composer’s Festival, I wanted to maximise that inclusiveness and showcase and promote the works of new as well as of established composers that are committed to expressing feelings in classical music.”

The compositions will be performed by the International Festival Orchestra, which features both professional and talented local amateur musicians, as well as by numerous professional instrumentalists and singers.

The Festival will begin with a Grand Opening Concert, Passion, at the Opus Theatre Cambridge Rd, Hastings at 7pm on Friday 21st September featuring “exciting music you have never heard before” – because much of it has never been performed in public before.

On Saturday 22nd September there will be three concerts at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. Small is Beautiful at 10.30am, will consist of new chamber music by composers from around the world, played by international and local soloists and ensembles.

At 1.30pm the Brighton Film Quartet, the UK’s only piano, clarinet, cello and violin quartet, will present Soundscape, a mesmerising blend of cinematic music and ambient sound track set to stunning big screen visuals created by 15 international filmmakers.

At 7pm in the evening Camera – Sound – Play! will feature the International Festival Orchestra performing iconic film and TV soundtracks together with some of today’s most exciting gaming music. There will be music from such classics as La La Land, Harry Potter and Schindler’s List, as well as popular computer games such as Oura.

At 10.30 on the morning of Sunday 23rd September at the De La Warr Pavilion, Total Piano – East Meets West will see the Festival’s Artistic Director, Polo Piatti, in conversation with two of the most exciting young pianists of our time, Sunny Li from China and Oliver Poole from the UK, who will both perform some enticing new pieces.

The final concert at 4pm on Sunday afternoon, Dancing Around the World will feature the
world premiere of a specially commissioned ballet ‘The Crane’s Wife’ by Japanese composer Nobuya Monta. There will also be six new Symphonic Dances from composers from around the world, choreographed and performed by local dance schools.

Tickets are available now from the Hastings Tourist Information Centre (01424 451111) for the Opus Theatre and from the De La Warr Pavilion for all concerts (01424 229111).  Tickets for under-18s accompanied by a paying adult are free. For further information, go to www.composersfestival.com

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.