Nigel Hess (b. 22 July 1953, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK) is British composer and director.
Hess was educated at Weston-super-Mare Grammar School for Boys, and went on to study music at Cambridge University, where he was Music Director of the famous Footlights Revue Company.
He has worked extensively in television, theaters, and films and has contributed regularly to radio arts programs. He also was house composer and music director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His works include theater and concert music.
Hess has composed numerous scores for both American and British television productions, including A Woman of Substance, Vanity Fair, Campion, and Testament (Ivor Novello Award for Best TV Theme). His best-known film score is Ladies in Lavender (Classical Brits Nomination for Best Soundtrack Composer) starring Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith.
While Hess was House Composer for the Royal Shakespeare Company he contributed twenty scores for RSC productions, and highlights from his Shakespeare scores have been recorded and performed by the RPO in concert as The Food of Love, hosted by Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart.
HHess was awarded the New York Drama Desk Award for ‘Outstanding Music in a Play’ for the productions of Much Ado About Nothing and Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway.
Hess 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. July 2007 saw the première of Hess’s 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. Other commissions include a new ballet based on The Old Man of Lochnagar, a children’s story written by the Prince of Wales in 1980; A Christmas Overture, commissioned by John Rutter; and A Celebration Overture, commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for its 175th anniversary .
Works for Winds
- Chansons de Normandie
- Christmas Overture, A (2007/2010)
- East Coast Pictures (1985)
- Global Variations (1990)
- Ladies in Lavender Theme (2004/2010)
- Monck’s March (2010)
- Scramble (1994)
- Shakespeare Pictures (2010)
- Thames Journey (1991)
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Nigel Hess." Accessed 30 May 2016
- Nigel Hess website Accessed 31 December 2017
- Nigel Hess, Wikipedia Access 30 May 2016