Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Piatti firing on all fronts

It was a sad moment for local composer Polo Piatti last year when he had to announce the closure of the Opus Theatre he founded. But every cloud has a silver lining, and Piatti is now working overtime progressing his composing and music-making career. Nick Terdre reports.

Local composer Polo Piatti is on the cusp of an important breakthrough, he tells HOT. In June he will be recording two of his major works with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in the Henry Wood Hall in London.

The CD will include two of his works:

  • The Bohemian Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, with the American pianist and Steinway artist Thomas Pandolfi, and
  • The Old World Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, with the distinguished British cellist Justin Pearson.

Thomas Pandolfi premiered the Bohemian Concerto with great success a few years ago at the Sandlers Centre for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach in the United States, accompanied by the Symphonicity-Symphony Orchestra under maestro Daniel W Boothe. Now Pandolfi will be flying over from Washington especially to record the work. The NSO will be conducted by the John Andrews.

“It is a great honour to be recorded by the National Symphony Orchestra, which is one of the world’s most prestigious,” Piatti says.

Although Piatti is enjoying the fact that many of his works are being performed and broadcast around the world, this new recording represents a step up in terms of the the quality and renown of the orchestra and soloists involved, he says.

Piatti attributes the interest shown by these classical music luminaries in recording his works to the fact that his music is harmonious and widely accessible – quite a rarity among living classical composers nowadays – and is therefore appreciated by growing audiences internationally.

World first

The composer also advanced his reputation with the successful performance of his Libera Nos oratorio which received its world premiere at the De La Warr Pavilion in November with an array of musical forces led by the London Mozart Players. The work is the world’s first ever multi-faith oratorio.

Piatti is now busier than ever. He was forced, he says, to take the very difficult decision to shut down the Opus Theatre, which he had been running for over five years, due to overwork, and to allow him to concentrate on several commissions, including a large violin concerto to be performed in France.

New proposals for recordings have also arrived in rapid succession, including an offer to move and work abroad. But it took him little time to turn down the offer, deciding instead to stay put in Hastings Old Town where he feels at home.

Two others of his works have recently been recorded: Entangled Miniatures, by the Phacelia Ensemble in London, and the Christmas Guitar Concerto by the Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra in Hungary.

The same orchestra has also decided to record Duty Sublime. This is an orchestral piece commissioned to be presented to the late Queen Elizabeth II, to which the Palace responded: “The Queen was very touched to have received this gift, one which has given Her Majesty much pleasure”. A version of the work for organ has just been published.


Understandably, by the end of 2022, Piatti says he was completely exhausted.

Despite this, he organised a last concert at his beloved Opus Theatre, performing much of his chamber music together with various talented young musicians. This will most probably be Piatti’s last live performance in town.

But his music will continue being performed locally. On 1 July Hastings Sinfonia will premiere what he calls his “very rousing piece” Joie De Vivre and his “emotionally charged” Tristesse & Passion for Violin and Orchestra, featuring another rising star, the young violinist Yunus Eshekh-Alonso, at St John the Evangelist church in St Leonards.

And on 3 December Italian virtuoso guitarist Giulio Tampalini, accompanied by Hastings Sinfonia, will give the first ever public performance of his Christmas Guitar Concerto at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

More information and news on Polo Piatti’s website.


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Posted 09:53 Friday, Apr 28, 2023 In: Hastings People

Also in: Hastings People

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