'I think the second movement is one of the most beautiful slow movements you can find for the piano.' Lang Lang (on the Piano Concerto)
Nigel Hess works extensively as a composer for television, theatre, film and the concert hall. He has scored over twenty Royal Shakespeare Company productions and received the New York Drama Desk Award for Much Ado About Nothing and Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway, while scores for Shakespeare's Globe have included The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, Henry VIII and Nell Gwynn. He also devised Admission: One Shilling, the story of the National Gallery's lunchtime concerts during the Second World War (founded by his great-aunt, pianist Dame Myra Hess), and this has been performed extensively around the UK and abroad by Dame Patricia Routledge and Piers Lane.
Television scores include A Woman of Substance, Vanity Fair, Campion, Maigret, Dangerfield, Just William and Wycliffe. Nigel has received the Ivor Novello award twice for Best TV Theme (Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and Testament), and is well-known to Classic FM listeners for his film soundtrack to Ladies in Lavender played by violinist Joshua Bell and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which was nominated for a Classical Brits award.
Nigel has also composed much concert music, particularly for symphonic wind band, including commissions from the Royal Air Force and the Band of the Coldstream Guards. Other notable works include the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (Classical Brits Nomination for Composer of the Year), commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales in memory of his grandmother, and premièred and recorded by internationally-renowned pianist Lang Lang, and a ballet based on The Old Man of Lochnagar, a children’s story written by the Prince of Wales in 1980, commissioned and premièred by the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain. A Christmas Overture was commissioned by John Rutter and premièred by the RPO at the Royal Albert Hall; an orchestral version of his choral work Jubilate Deo was commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Celebration Overture commissioned by Classic FM Live was premièred by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, again at the Royal Albert Hall.
Nigel was honoured to be asked to arrange and direct the music for Her Majesty the Queen’s private 90th birthday celebration at Windsor Castle and for Prince Charles' 70th birthday dinner at Buckingham Palace. He has recently received an Honorary Fellowship from St.Catharine’s College, Cambridge.