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Thomas Adès

About this Artist

Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. Renowned as both composer and performer, he works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies and festivals.

His compositions include three operas: the most recent of which, The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and subsequently has been performed at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the Royal Opera House, London—all conducted by the composer; The Tempest (Royal Opera House and Metropolitan Opera); and Powder Her Face. His orchestral works include Asyla (CBSO, 1997), Tevot (Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, 2007), Polaris (New World Symphony, Miami 2011), Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, 2005), In Seven Days (Piano concerto with moving image—Los Angeles Philharmonic and RFH London, 2008), Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra (BBC Proms, 2013), Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (Boston Symphony Orchestra, 2019), and The Dante Project, a full-length ballet (choreographed by Wayne McGregor (Royal Opera House and Los Angeles Philharmonic). His compositions also include numerous celebrated chamber and solo works.

Thomas Adès has been an Artistic Partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2016 and conducts the orchestra in Boston and at Tanglewood, performs chamber music with the orchestra players, and leads the summer Festival of Contemporary Music. He also regularly coaches piano and chamber music at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.

As a conductor, Thomas appears regularly with the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London Philharmonic orchestras; the Boston, London, BBC, Finnish Radio, and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras; the Royal Concertgebouworkest, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia. In opera, in addition to The Exterminating Angel, he has conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House and Zürich Opera, The Tempest at the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera, and Gerald Barry’s latest opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground in Los Angeles (world premiere) and in London (European premiere). Recent and future highlights include Thomas conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Wiener Philharmoniker, and NDR Elbphilharmonie. In Summer 2022, conducted the world premiere of his new violin concerto Air at the Lucerne Festival, a Roche commission for Anne-Sophie Mutter, and the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra.

His piano engagements have included solo recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium) and London’s Wigmore Hall and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Recent piano releases include an album of solo piano music by Janáček and a live album of Winterreise with Ian Bostridge.

His many awards include the Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest, and Tevot; Ernst von Siemens Composers’ prize for Arcadiana; and 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; his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d’Or de l’année (2013), Best Opera recording (2014 Grammy Awards), and Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014 ECHO Klassik Awards); and The Exterminating Angel won the World Premiere of the Year at the International Opera Awards (2017). In 2015, he was awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize and in January 2021, he judged the Toru Takemitsu composition award.