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Thomas Adès

Composer

Biography

English composer, conductor and pianist Thomas Adès made his Royal Opera debut in 2004 conducting the world premiere of his second opera The Tempest. He has since returned to conduct The Rake’s Progress and a revival of The Tempest in 2007. In the 2016/17 Season he conducts his third opera The Exterminating Angel, a co-commission between The Royal Opera, Salzburg Festival and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Adès was born in London and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and King’s College, Cambridge. His first opera Powder her Face (1995) has been performed more than two hundred times worldwide. The Tempest has been seen in Strasbourg, Copenhagen, Sante Fe, Toronto, Frankfurt, Budapest, Luebeck and New York. The Metropolitan Opera’s recording of the opera with Deutsche Grammophon won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. His most performed orchestral work, Asyla, was commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle. Other works include America (New York Philharmonic), Polaris (New World Symphony) and Totentanz (BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Proms). Much of his music has been choreographed for ballet.

Adès was Music Director of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group 1998–2000, Artistic Director of Aldeburgh Festival 1999–2008, and in September 2016 becomes Boston Symphony Orchestra’s first Artistic Partner. He regularly conducts for orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw, and there have been many international festivals dedicated to his music. Appearances as a pianist include recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Barbican. His many awards include the 2015 Sonning Prize and the 2000 Grawemeyer Award. He coaches piano and chamber music annually at the International Musicians Seminar.

Videos

News and features

What does it all mean? Searching for answers to Thomas Adès's brain-scrambling <em>The Exterminating Angel</em>

What does it all mean? Searching for answers to Thomas Adès's brain-scrambling The Exterminating Angel

27 April 2017

The surreal film by Luis Buñuel that inspired Adès' third opera offers some intriguing clues.

The challenges of bringing <em>The Exterminating Angel</em> to the stage

The challenges of bringing The Exterminating Angel to the stage

26 April 2017

A flock of sheep, a bear, a disembodied hand, set in an inescapable single room: how do you stage Thomas Adès’s sensational new opera?

The ondes martenot: The eeriest instrument ever invented?

The ondes martenot: The eeriest instrument ever invented?

21 April 2017

The otherworldly instrument that paved the way for the synthesizer explosion has seduced everyone from Messiaen to Radiohead.

Photos

Thomas Allen in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Sally Matthews and Iestyn Davies in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Anne Sofie Von Otter in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

John Tomlinson and Anne Sofie Von Otter in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Amanda Echalaz and Charles Workman in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

The principals (2) in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Sophie Bevan in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Amanda Echalaz, Charles Workman, Ed Lyon, and Sten Byriel in Exterminating Angel

Frédéric Antoun, Audrey Luna, and David Adam Moore in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Sophie Bevan and Ed Lyon in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Iestyn Davies and Sally Matthews in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

The principals in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

David Adam Moore, Thomas Allen, and Amanda Echalaz in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Iestyn Davies and Sally Matthews in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

The ensemble in Exterminating Angel

Thomas Allen, Amanda Echalaz, David Adam Moore, Anne Sofie von Otter, Sally Matthews, Iestyn Davies, Christine Rice, and Charles Workman in Exterminating Angel

The ensemble in Exterminating Angel

Sally Matthews, Amanda Echalaz, and Audrey Luna in Exterminating Angel

Thomas Adès. Photograph by Brian Voce

John Tomlinson in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Christine Rice in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Christine Rice, Sally Matthews, and Anne Sofie Von Otter in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

David Adam Moore and Charles Workman in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Amanda Echalaz and Sally Matthews in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Amanda Echalaz in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Sophie Bevan, Audrey Luna, Sally Matthews, and Christine Rice in Exterminating Angel

Sally Matthews, Iestyn Davies, John Tomlinson, and Anne Sofie von Otter in Exterminating Angel

Thomas Adès

Christine Rice, Anne Sofie Von Otter, and Audrey Luna in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Anne Sofie Von Otter and John Tomlinson in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

David Adam Moore and John Tomlinson, Ed Lyon, and Sophie Bevan in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

David Adam Moore, Thomas Allen and Christine Rice in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Audrey Luna (centre) in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Anne Sofie Von Otter in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda