September 2015 sees 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 is Nigel's fifth production at the Globe, having previously scored The Merry Wives of WindsorRomeo and JulietHenry VIII and The Knight of the Burning Pestle.

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have commissioned a new piece from Nigel as part of their 175th year celebrations. It takes the form of a 'Celebration Overture' and was 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 was Vasily Petrenko.

Nigel was delighted to be commissioned by pianist Nicholas McCarthy for a new track on his debut album for Warner Classics. Called 'Nocturne', it is a romantic piece for the left hand, and Nigel has been working closely with Nicholas to create a work specifically tailored for the pianist's formidable technique. The album was recorded in Boston and is now available.

Nigel is delighted to be Patron of the Hastings International Composers Festival which takes place September 24th-26th. This very successful festival was conceived and founded by British-Argentine composer Polo Piatti, with the aim of promoting the creation and performance of high quality, melodic, classical music by living composers. It also facilitates the exchange of ideas and the establishment of working relationships between composers, musicians and artists from around the world. The festival is the only one of its kind in the world. Composers are invited to submit music on a given theme. Chosen works are then performed by the International Festival Orchestra, Composers Festival Chorus as well as by numerous first-class ensembles, the Battle Abbey School Choir and some outstanding soloists.

The festival will include four concerts over three days, the first of which will be held on Thursday 24th September in All Saints Church, Hastings Old Town - an evening of exquisite music by the Japanese composer Nobuya Monta, the centre point being the premiere of his one act opera 'Otohime', performed in stunning national costumes brought specially from Japan. There will also be a talk and discussion on the philosophical meaning and implications of this year's theme ‘Pictures’, by local historian and BBC correspondent Richard Sumner. On Friday 25th September there will be a Grand Opening Concert at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings. On Saturday 26th September the festival moves to the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea for a Matinee Concert: ‘The Wonder of Melody’. On the same day award-winning author and film-maker Phil Grabsky will be presenting his highly successful 'In Search Of' films. The festival’s final concert is an exciting programme of classical popular film and computer gaming music.

The International Composers Festival is supported by a number of well-known composers including Stephen Warbeck, Patrick Hawes, Ian Livingstone, Nobuya Monta and Carlos Salomon, many of whom have confirmed their participation. Musicians taking part include virtuoso pianist Miho Sanou, with the Danzi Osaka Wind Ensemble coming especially from Japan, violinist Daniel Rainey, clarinettist Sue Bishop and the wonderful soprano Thomasin Trezise. The chief conductor is Hiroshi Endo who is travelling from Japan. Mr Endo will be supported by local conductors.

The International Composers Festival offers the ideal opportunity to enjoy high quality music, and exchange ideas. Audiences have a unique opportunity to meet world-famous as well as up-and-coming composers in a welcoming and informal environment. The festival acts as a showcase for a wide range of artists, from world famous professionals through to local amateurs. It is perfect for people new to classical music as well as serious music lovers and professional musicians and composers.

Nigel's Piano Concerto, commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales, continues to be a frequent #1 best-seller on Amazon, and there are plans for further live performances in the near future.

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, and these films will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in September.

Following Nigel's recent CD with the Central Band of the RAF, 'New London Pictures', he was commissioned to write two new pieces for the Band.

'March Barnes Wallis' commemorates the 70th anniversary of the famous 'Dambusters' raid and was premiered on BBC Radio 2's 'Friday Night is Music Night' as part of their special anniversary broadcast.

'Chansons de Normandie' is based on traditional Normandy folk songs and was also premiered on Radio 2 as part of their D-Day broadcast live from the Royal Albert Hall on June 6th, 2014.

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 am British Double Summer Time (GMT+2). In planning, as for most Allied operations, the term D-Day was used for the day of the actual landing.

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.

Every January, Classic FM asks the world to send them their three top classical music pieces. Once voting closes, they count and collate the votes, and broadcast the top 300 across the long Easter weekend.

Never out of the Hall of Fame since their respective releases, 2015's chart saw Nigel's acclaimed film score Ladies in Lavender rising 11 places from 2014's position to number 74, while his Piano Concerto came in at number 177 (up 5 places from 2014's chart). Ladies in Lavender also clocked in at number 13 in CFM's 2014 Movie Music Chart (up 2 places from 2013).

"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)


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.

Nigel Hess - Myra Music © 2015