THOMAS ADÈS (b 1971 )
Composer, conductor and pianist Thomas Adès has been described by The New York Times as ‘among the most accomplished all-round musicians of his generation’.
Born in London in 1971, he studied piano at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and read music at King’s College Cambridge. His music embraces influences from jazz and pop as well as the Western classical tradition. He has contributed successfully to the major time-honoured genres and his operatic and orchestral works have been particularly well received by both the public and the press.
His first opera, Powder Her Face (1995) has been performed worldwide and his second, The Tempest, commissioned by London’s Royal Opera House, was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in 2004. His third opera, after Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, was first staged at the Salzburg Festival in July 2016. Among his orchestral works, Asyla (1997) was programmed by Sir Simon Rattle in his farewell concert as conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and also in the conductor’s debut as music director of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker also gave the first performance of Tevot in 2007. In 2011 Polaris was premiered by the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami.
Adès was artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008. In 2000 he became the youngest ever recipient of the Grawemeyer Award. He was awarded the CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours.