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Thomas Adès

About this Artist

British composer Thomas Adès is one of his generation’s foremost musicians. His opera The Tempest ​has been produced by the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Vienna Staatsoper; the Metropolitan Opera; and many other theaters worldwide. His newest opera, ​The Exterminating Angel, debuted at the Salzburg Festival in 2016, with subsequent productions at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan. Commissions for large-scale orchestral works such as ​In Seven Days, Polaris, Tevot, ​and​ Totentanz ​have come from the Berlin, Los Angeles, and New York Philharmonic orchestras as well as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Barbican Centre, and other major presenting institutions. In March 2019, his new Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, premiered to extraordinary acclaim both in Boston and at Carnegie Hall; its European debut followed shortly thereafter in Leipzig.

In spring 2019, the Los Angeles Philharmonic premiered Thomas Adès’ first ballet score, Inferno, in a concert version, followed by a fully staged production at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion that summer. The work was choreographed by Wayne McGregor and was co-produced with the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, where it will premiere later this year. The composer’s first film score was Colette, based on the life of the French author; released in 2018, the film was directed by Wash Westmoreland and starred Keira Knightley. Adès has also composed frequently for smaller forces; many of his songs, solo piano works, and pieces for solo instruments as well as for various chamber ensembles are performed regularly worldwide.

Thomas Adès also maintains international careers as both conductor and pianist. He has led many of the world’s great orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Vienna ​Philharmonic. He conducted the premiere of ​The Exterminating Angel​ at Salzburg, Covent Garden, and the Met (following earlier successes leading ​The Tempest​ at the latter two companies). D​uring 2018/19, he led concerts with both the London and Helsinki Philharmonic orchestras and debuted with both the Orchestre de Paris and the Leipzig Gewandhaus. He currently serves as the first-ever Artistic Partner to the Boston Symphony Orchestra; in addition to conducting, he appears with the BSO Chamber Players, curates contemporary music programs, and teaches both in Boston and at Tanglewood. In the 2019/20 season, he begins a similar partnership with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As pianist, he has given solo recitals throughout the world, most recently touring solo piano works of Janáček to Brno, Lisbon, London, and Paris. He also frequently appears as accompanist to artists such as tenor Ian Bostridge, baritone Simon Keenlyside, and performs duo-piano recitals with Kirill Gerstein.

His many awards include the Grawemeyer Award for ​Asyla​ (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for ​Asyla​, ​The Tempest, and ​Tevot​; the Ernst von Siemens Composers’ Prize for ​Arcadiana​; and the British Composer Award for ​The Four Quarters​. His CD recording of ​The Tempest​ from the Royal Opera House (EMI) won the Contemporary category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards; and his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année (2013), a Grammy Award for Best Opera recording (2014), and an ECHO Klassik Award for Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014). In 2015, he was awarded Denmark’s prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize.