Commissions & Premières
Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and read music at King’s College, Cambridge. A prodigious composer, conductor and pianist, Adès was described by The New York Times in 2007 as one of today’s “most accomplished overall musicians”.
Adès’s chamber opera Powder Her Face (1995) has been performed worldwide, whilst The Tempest (2004) was commissioned by London’s Royal Opera House, and has since been taken up by international houses including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where it was recorded for a Deutsche Grammophon DVD which subsequently won a Grammy Award. His third opera, after Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the Salzburg Festival in July 2016 before travelling to London, New York and Copenhagen.
Between 1993 and 1995, Adès was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, producing These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was written for Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2005, Adès premiered his Violin Concerto, Concentric Paths, for Anthony Marwood and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, at the Berlin Festspiele and the BBC Proms. Tevot (2007) was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, whilst In Seven Days, a concerto for piano with moving image, was premiered in 2008 in London and Los Angeles. Polaris (2011) was premiered by the New World Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami, and was later choreographed to great acclaim by Crystal Pite as part of an all-Adès evening at Sadler’s Wells. Other choreographers who have worked with his music include Karole Armitage, Kim Brandstrup, Wayne McGregor and Ashley Page. Totentanz for mezzosoprano, baritone and large orchestra was premiered at the 2013 Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Luxury Suite from Powder Her Face (2017) was commissioned by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Adès’ chamber music includes two string quartets, Arcadiana (1994) and The Four Quarters (2010), a Piano Quintet (2000) and Lieux Retrouvés (2009) for cello and piano.
As a conductor, Adès appears regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw, Melbourne and Sydney symphony orchestras, BBC Symphony, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He is the inaugural Artistic Partner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with whom he premiered his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with Kirill Gerstein as soloist in 2019.
Adès has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Léonie Sonning Music Prize, Leoš Janáček Award, and the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (2000), of which he is the youngest-ever recipient. He was awarded a CBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008. He coaches piano and chamber music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.
Shanty – Over the Sea (2020)
for String Orchestra
Commissioned by Australian Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Kammerorchester Basel with Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy, Istanbul Music Festival, and Barbican Centre with Britten Sinfonia
9 October 2021 ASIAN PREMIÈRE