Nigel Hess is well-known as a composer and conductor for television, theatre, film and the concert hall with an extensive and varied output. His concert music includes the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 in memory of his grandmother, recently recorded by the internationally-renowned pianist Lang Lang.
Shakespeare Pictures, commissioned by Birmingham Symphonic Winds, originates from incidental music composed for productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, and is now expanded and re-orchestrated to form a new three-movement suite for symphonic wind orchestra.
Julius Caesar – The Entry to the Senate: starring Peter McEnery and David Schofield, this production featured a spectacular Senate scene, complete with cathedral organ and a battalion of brass players fanfaring the imminent death of Caesar himself.
A Winter’s Tale – The Statue: “Music, awake her, strike!” So says Paulina as the statue of Hermione comes to life at the end of this magical play. “Descend: be stone no more; approach; strike all that look upon with marvel.” In this production Jeremy Irons played a memorable Leontes.
Much Ado About Nothing: Actually used as the entr’acte in the production itself, this concert overture uses material from the joyous dance sequences scattered throughout the well-known love story of Beatrice and Benedict, played on this occasion by Sinead Cusack and Derek Jacobi.