Welcome to MYRA MUSIC The official site of Nigel Hess
'The Knight of the Burning Pestle' at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe
Nigel's latest theatre score is 'The Knight of the Burning Pestle' for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe which opened on February 26th. Directed by Adele Thomas, it is the second production of the new theatre's first season. The show has received rave reviews and runs until the end of March.
Two new productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Later in 2014 Nigel returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company to score two new productions of Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (or Love's Labour's Won). Both shows see Nigel reunited with director colleague Christopher Luscombe (Shakespeare's Globe The Merry Wives of Windsor and Nigel's own Admission: One Shilling), and rehearsals begin in June followed by openings in the RSC's main theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in October.
'Admission: One Shilling' in London, Chicago and Australia
Admission: One Shilling was first performed by legendary actress Patricia Routledge and international concert pianist Piers Lane in 2009 as part of the annual Dame Myra Hess Day at London’s National Gallery. The production tells the extraordinary story of how concert pianist Myra Hess founded and organized a six-year series of morale-boosting, spirit-lifting lunchtime concerts at the National Gallery throughout the darkest days of the Second World War.
Devised by Nigel Hess (Myra's great-nephew), the story, related in Dame Myra’s own words, tells how the “great adventure” of those 1600 concerts began and how they continued while the Luftwaffe’s bombs rained down on London.
Admission: One Shilling has now been performed around the UK and Europe over 40 times since its National Gallery premiere, and January 2013 saw its first USA performance in Chicago with Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey's Mrs Patmore) and Inna Faliks sharing the performing honours. Nigel was in Chicago to direct the piece. The most recent London performance of Admission: One Shilling was at the Wigmore Hall where it played to a sell-out house.
A 26-date Australian tour in May 2014 has now been confirmed.
Nigel's latest CD New London Pictures, released in April 2013, was Classic FM's 'CD of the Week'. Nigel's music for Symphonic Wind Orchestra is performed by bands worldwide, and this new CD features 12 tracks performed by the Central Band of the RAF, one of the premier military bands in the UK today, conducted by the composer. Works include New London Pictures, Ladies in Lavender, The Lochnagar Suite, Monck's March, Shakespeare Pictures and A Christmas Overture.
"Thank God the days are gone when we have to apologise when a contemporary composer is writing a tune. Nigel Hess writes good tunes, and this is a terrific CD. Please don't hesitate." (David Mellor, Classic FM)
"It's a cracking album!" (Alan Titchmarsh, Classic FM)
March Barnes Wallis was given its broadcast premiere on Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night and featured as part of the Central Band's 2013 tour around the UK. The piece has been recorded as part of the tour's accompanying CD, and can be purchased at the link below.
New York Philharmonic plays 'A Christmas Overture'
Since John Rutter commissioned A Christmas Overture from Nigel in 2008 it has become popular with orchestras worldwide, and for their 2013 holiday season the New York Philharmonic gave two performances at Lincoln Center. In the UK it was performed by, amongst many others, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
The 2013 Classic FM Hall of Fame & Music Movie Chart + webchat
Never out of Classic FM's Hall of Fame since their respective releases, 2013's chart saw Ladies in Lavender rising 17 places from 2012's position to number 96, while the Piano Concerto came in at number 246. Ladies in Lavender also clocked in at number 15 in CFM's 2013 Movie Music Chart.
"Nigel Hess' main theme for this 2004 film starring Maggie Smith and Judi Dench is simple and beautiful. Performed by award-winning violinist Joshua Bell and the Royal Philharmonia Orchestra, it is one of the most enduring film scores of recent years." (Classic FM)
"As modern piano concertos go, Nigel Hess' has to be one of the most revered. Originally commissioned by the Prince of Wales as a tribute to the memory of the Queen Mother, it has since been recorded by the likes of Lang Lang — testament to its status as a performers' concerto." (Classic FM)
A major new stage musical with a score by Nigel Hess has been in development for two years, and, after a workshop with the fabulous students at the Arts Educational School in London followed by a professional workshop in the autumn of 2013, plans are advancing for a 2014 production. Watch this space!!