Thomas Adès studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and read music at King’s College, Cambridge. Renowned as both a composer and a performer he works regularly with the world’s leading opera companies and festivals. From 1999 to 2008 Mr. Adès was artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival.
Mr. Adès has conducted the Boston, San Francisco, Melbourne, and Sydney symphony orchestras, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the 2013 BBC Proms, when he led the World Premiere of his own Totentanz. Other recent conducting engagements have included Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (which he served as music director, 1998–2000); Los Angeles and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic orchestras; London, São Paulo State, City of Birmingham, Finnish Radio, and Danish Radio symphony orchestras; and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rome’s Accademia Santa Cecilia, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, and Athelas Ensemble.
His first opera, Powder Her Face (1995), has been performed worldwide and is available on CD and DVD on EMI. The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, commissioned The Tempest, which has since been seen in six major opera houses, most recently at The Metropolitan Opera (now available on DVD); the EMI recording of the work received the Diapason d’Or de l’année and 2010 Classical Brit Award for Composer of the Year. He is currently working on his third opera, commissioned by the Salzburg Festival, Covent Garden, and The Met.
Thomas Adès’s recent piano engagements have included an Adès and Friends evening in the opening season of Milton Court; recitals at the Festival de Saint Denis and Carnegie Hall with Ian Bostridge; and appearances with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. His 2010 recital tour included performances at Carnegie Hall and London’s Barbican Centre and featuring the premiere of his Concert Paraphrase from Powder Her Face.
Between 1993 and 1995 Mr. Adès was Composer-in-Association with the Hallé Orchestra, which resulted in The Origin of the Harp (1994) and These Premises Are Alarmed. Other compositions include Asyla (1997, for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), Concentric Paths (2005, which led in its premiere at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms), and Tevot (2007, commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Carnegie Hall). His numerous honors have included the Grawemeyer Award, of which he is the youngest ever recipient.
Learn more about Thomas Adès