Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

Music to Your Ears

International Composers Festival 2022

A unique three-day festival on the south coast of England celebrating music of passion and melody created by living composers from all over the world. You can expect world-class performances of big orchestral scores performed by the International Festival Orchestra, soloists, vocal and dance groups.

The International Composers Festival, the only event of its kind in the world, will be returning between 20th and 22nd May, bigger and better than ever. For the first time, all the concerts will be taking place in the same major venue – the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. With over 3,650 entries, from 860 composers worldwide, sixty of the best have been selected for performance.

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

There will be four concerts over the three busy days. On the opening night, Friday 20 May, Ovation will feature mainly new concert music performed by the vibrant eighty-strong International Festival Orchestra under Principal Conductor John Andrews. The evening will feature the première of Polo Piatti’s Old World Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, performed by virtuoso cellist Tim Posner and a performance of Anne by one of the UK’s best-known composers, Debbie Wiseman OBE, from her album Kings and Queens.

Saturday 21st May sees international and local soloists perform a chamber music concert, Small is Beautiful, with the Hastings Sinfonia Wind Quintet and the Festival’s ICF Piano Quartet. That evening, there will be a barnstorming concert of film, TV and games music, with well-known pieces from major films such as Slum Dog Millionaire, the Harry Potter franchise and Pirates of the Caribbean and music from TV programmes such as The Great British Bake Off plus new music for as-yet unseen productions.

On Sunday afternoon there will be a family concert called Songs and Dances from Around the World, featuring specially commissioned symphonic dances reflecting music from different regions of the world, some choreographed and performed by the Eastbourne Academy of Dancing. There will also be international collaborations including an emotive piece by Mexican composer Jose Elizandro, choreographed and performed by Japanese Butoh dancer Yumino Seki. The concert will close with a performance of festival patron Nigel Hess’s extraordinary The Way of Light, featuring young star Eleanor Grant, actor John Watts and St Richard’s Catholic College Choir. 

The great thing about the festival is that composers from around the globe convene to hear their music performed. It is a unique, informal and engaging atmosphere where the audience are able to converse with the composers and musicians, performing their pieces. Tickets for the event are available from the De La Warr box office. 



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