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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

Watch: 6 innovative dance works by Crystal Pite

Watch: 6 innovative dance works by Crystal Pite

16 March 2017

Combining elements of classical ballet with a powerful sense of drama, Pite is one of today’s most talked-about choreographers.

Angels, devils, fools and women: exploring the role of the countertenor

Angels, devils, fools and women: exploring the role of the countertenor

24 January 2017

Under-appreciated for centuries, the countertenor now storms the operatic stage.

Aiming high: 10 of the most challenging soprano roles

Aiming high: 10 of the most challenging soprano roles

15 September 2016

From the Queen of the Night to Turandot by way of Norma and Brünnhilde, we round up some of opera’s most devilishly difficult soprano roles.