Festival saw auditorium almost at capacity

Review: International Composers Festival, St Mary in the Castle. August 25 and 26.

Launched on Friday evening with introduction by MC Jonathan Mendenhall were the artistic Director Polo Piatti and the London Gala Orchestra, with chief conductor Stephen Ellery, leader Dominic Moore, violin, Jonathan Bruce ‘cello, and Sarah Thurlow, clarinet.

The second half featured the ‘double bill’ of And at The End of it All and Still Life composed by Polo Piatti, the festival’s mentor, on piano, with Sarah on clarinet and conducted by Stephen Ellery, and The Statue, the work of Nigel Hess, patron of the Festival.

The Saturday moming session opened with Daniela Othieno, the festival organiser, speaking as an anthropologist who compared the apparently diverse cultures of music and visual art, leading to a lively discussion from the floor by professionals and audience members.

The concert which followed included contributions from the Hastings Philharmonic Choir, and solo pianiste Louise Denny who delighted with her own composition Tamarisk. The Japanese writer Kambei Takao contributed a violin and piano duet by Freya Josling and Jonathan Bruce. Polo Piatti’s composition Goodbye featured the composer at the piano with Tim Willson on oboe. A piano solo by youthful Kate Dunn and a recorder and piano piece by Maria and Andy Meyers concluded the first half.

The Hastings Philharmonic Choir opened the second half followed by soprano Holly Finch with her own number In Haven Polo Piatti accompanying.

Marrion Wells