Conductors & Piano

Thomas Adès CBE

Born in London, Thomas Adès studied at the GSMD and at King’s College, Cambridge. As a conductor, he has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmomic, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Mariinsky and Ensemble Modern.

He performs worldwide as a pianist and made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2007. For The Royal Opera he has conducted The Tempest and The Rake’s Progress. Recent conducting engagements include The Tempest (Metropolitan Opera, New York, Vienna State Opera), The Exterminating Angel (Salzburg Festival), his three orchestral works Asyla, Polaris and Tevot with the London Symphony Orchestra, recently released on LSO Live and the UK premiere of Lieux Retrouves for cello and orchestra with Britten Sinfonia (BBC Proms).

This season, his engagements include The Exterminating Angel at The Metropolitan Opera, New York; concerts with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

David Afkham is Principal Conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra and Chorus. He is in high demand as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras and opera houses, and has established a reputation as one of the most sought after conductors to emerge from Germany in recent years. His first season at the helm of the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid, featuring a Brahms symphony cycle, Brahms’s Requiem, and concert performances of Wagner’s Fliegende Holländer, was unanimously acclaimed by the press. In Summer 2014, David Afkham made a noted opera debut with Verdi’s La Traviata at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, later reviving the production with Glyndebourne on Tour.

Highlights of recent seasons have included debuts with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Cleveland and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin as well as return engagements with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Gothenburg Symphony and the Orchestra of Accademia Santa Cecilia.

Born in 1983 in Freiburg, Germany; David studied at the Freiburg University of Music and the Liszt School of Music in Weimar. David Afkham was the first recipient of the ‘Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent’ and assisted Maestro Haitink in a number of major projects including symphony cycles with the Chicago Symphony, Concertgebouw Orkest and London Symphony Orchestra. He was the winner of the 2008 Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London, resulting in him becoming the Assistant Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra for two years. In 2010, David Afkham was the inaugural recipient of the ‘Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award’, and was Assistant Conductor of the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester 2009- 2012.

John Mark Ainsley has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including the London, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco Symphony orchestras and the London, Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic orchestras, with Davis, Haitink, Mackerras, Charles Dutoit, Masur, Norrington, Rattle and Abbado. He has performed on stage with the Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Theater an der Wien, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro all Scala Milan, Oper Frankfurt and Bayerische Staatsoper, with the Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh festivals, and the BBC Proms. He has recorded extensively for the major labels and was nominated for a Gramophone Award. He won the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award, and is a Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.

In 2016 John Mark was diagnosed with Leukaemia. Fortunately this was an early diagnosis and with ongoing treatment the prognosis for his general health is very good. However, he has decided that it is time to retire from public performance. It is still very much his intention to remain involved with singing and performing through teaching, adjudication and master classes.

Louise Alder studied at the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she was the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholar.

She is a member of Oper Frankfurt’s Ensemble where her roles in the 2018/19 season include Romilda Serse, Pamina Die Zauberflöte and Monica in a new production of Menotti’s The Medium. She also makes débuts at the Teatro Réal, Madrid in the title role of La Calisto and at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich as Gretel Hänsel und Gretel.

On the concert platform she sings the title role in Theodora at the BBC Proms with Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen; the title role in Semele on tour with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner; Messiah with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in performances staged by Frederick Wake-Walker; Carmina Burana with the LPO and Jérémie Rhorer; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the RLPO and Vasily Petrenko; Jessie in Turnage’s The Silver Tassie with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth; Mozart Arias in Salzburg with the COE and Robin Ticciati and The Plaintiff in Trial by Jury with the OAE and John Wilson.