Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and read music at King's College, Cambridge. A prodigious composer, conductor and pianist, Adès was described by the New York Times in 2007 as one of today's "most accomplished overall musicians. "Adès' chamber opera Powder Her Face (1995) has been performed worldwide whilst The Tempest (2004) was commissioned by London's Royal Opera House and has since been taken up by international houses including New York's Metropolitan Opera, where it was recorded for a Deutsche Grammophon DVD which subsequently won a Grammy Award. Adès' third opera, after Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the Salzburg Festival in July 2016 before travelling to London, New York and Copenhagen.
Between 1993 and 1995, Adès was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, producing These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was written for Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2005, Adès premiered his Violin Concerto: Concentric Paths, for Anthony Marwood and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, at the Berlin Festspiele and the BBC Proms. His chamber music includes two string quartets, Arcadiana (1994) and The Four Quarters (2010), a Piano Quintet (2000), Lieux retrouvés (2009) for cello and piano and the clarinet quintet Alchymia (2021).
Tevot (2007), was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall whilst In Seven Days (a concerto for piano with moving image) was premiered in 2008 in London and Los Angeles. Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone and large orchestra was premiered at the 2013 Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Polaris (2010) was premiered by the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami and was later choreographed to great acclaim by Crystal Pite as part of an all-Ades evening at Sadler's Wells. Other choreographers who have worked with his music include Karole Armitage, Kim Brandstrup, Wayne McGregor and Ashley Page.
Dante, an evening-length ballet in three parts, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Opera House, premiered at Covent Garden in October 2021 with choreography by Wayne McGregor and designs by Tacita Dean.
Other recent works include Dawn: Chacony for Orchestra at Any Distance (2020), Shanty - Over the Sea for strings (2020) and Märchentänze for solo violin and piano/orchestra (2020-21). As a conductor, Adès appears regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is the inaugural Boston Symphony Artistic Partner with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with which he premiered his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with Kirill Gerstein as soloist in March 2019.
Ades is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2015 Léonie Sonning Music Prize, the Leos Janácek Award and the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (2000). He was awarded a CBE in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours. Ades was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008 and coaches piano and chamber music at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.
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