Welcome to MYRA MUSIC The official site of Nigel Hess
Two new productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Nigel returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2014 to score two new productions of Love's Labour's Lost and Love's Labour's Won (or Much Ado About Nothing). Both shows saw Nigel reunited with director colleague Christopher Luscombe (Shakespeare's Globe The Merry Wives of Windsor and Nigel's own Admission: One Shilling). Both shows opened in the RSC's main theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on October 15th 2014 to 5-star reviews and played until March 14th 2015. Live cinema screenings of Love's Labour's Lost took place on February 11th with Love's Labour's Won following on March 4th. These will be followed by 'Encore' screenings at select cinemas on future dates worldwide.
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have commissioned a new piece from Nigel as part of their 175th year celebrations. It will take the form of a 'Celebration Overture' and will be premiered at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Classic FM Live concert on September 22nd, followed by two performances in Liverpool on September 24th & 25th. The conductor will be Vasily Petrenko.
'Nell Gwynn' at Shakespeare's Globe
September 2015 will see Nigel reunited with director Christopher Luscombe when he composes the score for a new play at Shakespeare's Globe, Nell Gwynn, by Jessica Swale. This will be Nigel's fifth production at the Globe, having previously scored The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, Henry VIII and The Knight of the Burning Pestle.
'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.
Patricia and Piers have now performed Admission: One Shilling nearly 70 times around the UK, Europe and Australia (where it has just completed a sell-out 26-date tour), and January 2013 saw the 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 capacity house.
Never out of Classic FM's Hall of Fame since their respective releases, 2014's chart saw Nigel's acclaimed film score Ladies in Lavender rising 11 places from 2013's position to number 85, while his Piano Concerto came in at number 182 (up 64 places from 2013's chart). Ladies in Lavender also clocked in at number 13 in CFM's 2014 Movie Music Chart (up 2 places from 2013). The 2015 chart will be revealed at Easter.
"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)
'Thames Journey' on BBC's Best of British Music Playlist
Every day in 2014 the BBC added to its Best of British classical music playlist, including recommendations from Radio 3 Breakfast listeners, and on March 19th Nigel's Thames Journey was added to the list. Works were being added on Spotify as they became available so you could follow the playlist throughout the year.