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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, a revival of The Tempest in 2007 and in 2017 his third opera, The Exterminating Angel, a co-commission between The Royal Opera, Salzburg Festival and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. His second opera, Powder her Face was performed at the Royal Opera House in 2008.

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

How The Royal Opera has kept opera looking forward for more than three hundred years

How The Royal Opera has kept opera looking forward for more than three hundred years

25 May 2017

The ROH has been home to major opera premieres dating all the way back to our first resident composer Handel – as material from ROH Collections shows.

Thomas Adès on what inspired his new opera <em>The Exterminating Angel</em>

Thomas Adès on what inspired his new opera The Exterminating Angel

2 May 2017

The composer reveals what drew him to Buñuel's Surrealist satire, and how he set about creating his acclaimed operatic adaptation.

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.

Posts by Thomas Adès

Thomas Adès on what inspired his new opera <em>The Exterminating Angel</em>

Thomas Adès on what inspired his new opera The Exterminating Angel

2 May 2017

The composer reveals what drew him to Buñuel's Surrealist satire, and how he set about creating his acclaimed operatic adaptation.

Photos