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Thomas Adès

Thomas Adès with a large smile while conducting


Thomas Adès was born in London in 1971. His compositions include three operas: he conducted the premiere of the most recent, The Exterminating Angel, at the 2016 Salzburg Festival and subsequently at the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House, London. He conducted the premiere and revival of The Tempest at the Royal Opera House, and a new production at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper and in November 2022 at La Scala, Milan. He led the world premiere of his full-evening ballet Dante at Covent Garden, and will conduct it in May 2023 at the Opéra Garnier, Paris.

He frequently leads performances of his orchestral works Asyla (1997), Tevot (2007), Polaris (2010), Violin Concerto: Concentric Paths (2005), In Seven Days for piano and orchestra (2008); Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra (2013); and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2019). His compositions also include numerous celebrated chamber and solo works.

As conductor, Thomas appears regularly with the Los Angeles and London Philharmonic orchestras, the Boston, London, BBC, Finnish Radio and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouworkest, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia, Rome. In opera, in addition to The Exterminating Angel, he has conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House and Zürich Opera, and the premieres of three operas by Gerald Barry, including the Los Angeles world premieres of The Importance of Being Earnest and Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, of which he also gave the European premiere at Covent Garden. Recent highlights include Thomas’s debut concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic, and his conducting debut with the Berlin Philharmonic. In Summer 2022 he conducted the world premiere of Air for violin and orchestra at the Lucerne Festival, a Roche commission for Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra. In the 2022-23 season he makes highly anticipated conducting debuts with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.

His CD recording of The Tempest from the Royal Opera House (EMI) won the Contemporary category of the 2010 Gramophone Awards; his DVD of the production from the Metropolitan Opera was awarded the Diapason d'Or de l'année (2013), Best Opera recording (2014 Grammy Awards) and Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014 ECHO Klassik Awards).

His piano engagements have included solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York, and the Wigmore Hall in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Recent piano releases include an album of solo piano music by Janácě k and a live album of Winterreise with Ian Bostridge. His solo disc of Janáček’s piano music won the 2018 Janáček medal.

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