Renowned as both a composer and a performer, Thomas Adès works regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies and festivals. His recordings of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Nancarrow, Kurtág, Ruders and Barry have been critically acclaimed.
The many orchestras he has conducted include City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC, Finnish and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras, and ensembles including Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (whose Music Director he was between 1998 and 2000), the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern and the Athelas Ensemble. A number of international festivals have chosen to present special focuses on his music. Among these were Helsinki’s Musica Nova (1999), Salzburg Easter Festival (2004), Radio France’s Festival Présences (2007), the Barbican’s ‘Traced Overhead’ (2007), the Mariinsky Theatre’s New Horizons Festival in St Petersburg (2007) and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra’s composer festival (2009).
Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and read music at King’s College, Cambridge. Between 1993 and 1995 he was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, which resulted in The Origin of the Harp (1994) and These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was a Feeney Trust commission for Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO, who toured it together and performed it at Symphony Hall in August 1998 in Rattle’s last concert as Music Director. Rattle subsequently programmed Asyla in his opening concert as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic in September 2002.
Adès’ first opera, Powder Her Face (commissioned by Almeida Opera for the Cheltenham Festival in 1995), has been performed all round the world, was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD as well as an EMI CD. Most of the composer’s music has been recorded by EMI, with whom Adès has a contract as composer, pianist and conductor. Adès’ second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in February 2004. It was revived at Covent Garden in 2007 – again with the composer conducting, and to a sold-out house - and has also been performed in Copenhagen, Strasbourg and Santa Fe. Recently released to outstanding reviews, The Tempest is also available on an EMI CD and in France, the disc was recently awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année and the 2010 Classical Brit Award for Composer of the Year. In September 2005 his violin concerto, Concentric Paths, written for Anthony Marwood, was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under his baton. His second orchestral work for Simon Rattle, Tevot, (2007) was commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Carnegie Hall. Adès’ music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (in 2000, for Asyla), of which he is the youngest ever recipient. From 1999-2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.
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