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 as one of today’s “most accomplished overall musicians.”
Adès’ first opera, Powder Her Face (1995), has been performed worldwide; his second, The Tempest, was commissioned by London’s Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in 2004. It was revived in 2007 and has since had several performances elsewhere, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, where it was recorded for a Deutsche Grammophon DVD which subsequently won a Grammy. A third opera, based on Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and now travels to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Royal Danish Opera.
Adès has a close association with Simon Rattle, who performed Asyla (1997) at his final concert with the CBSO and his first as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Tevot with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2007. In 2011 his orchestral work Polaris was premiered by the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami. Adès’ most recent work, Totentanz, was premiered at the 2013 Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra; it will be performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the composer’s direction this coming February.
Adès’ music has won numerous prizes, including the 2015 Sonning Prize and the Grawemeyer Award (2000), of which he is the youngest ever recipient. Adès was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008, and he coaches piano and chamber music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. Current projects include a piano concerto for Kirill Gerstein to be premiered in the 2018/19 season as part of Adès’ three-year period as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural Artistic Partner.