Born in London, Thomas Adès studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and read music at King’s College, Cambridge.
Adès’ first opera, Powder Her Face, commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival and Almeida Opera in 1995, has been performed worldwide and was televised by Channel Four. Adès’ second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer in 2004. It has also been performed in Copenhagen, Strasbourg, Santa Fe and Frankfurt. The composer will conduct a new production at The Metropolitan Opera, New York in 2012. The CD recording of The Tempest (EMI) was awarded the Diapason d’Or and the 2010 Classical Brit Award for Composer of the Year.
Asyla (1997) was commissioned for Simon Rattle and the CBSO, who toured it and repeated it in August 1998 in Rattle’s last concert as Music Director. Asyla also appeared in Rattle’s opening concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker in September 2002. In February 2007 Radio France’s Paris Presences Festival was devoted to Adès’ music. This showcase was followed by the Barbican’s festival Traced Overhead in March and April, which presented the UK premiere of his second work for Simon Rattle, Tevot, commissioned by the Berlin Philharmoniker and Carnegie Hall. Other organizations to feature Adès as composer and performer include Carnegie Hall throughout the 2007/8 season; the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic’s Tonsättarfestival in 2009; the Melbourne International Festival in 2010 and the Los Angeles Philharmonic ‘Aspects of Adès’ in 2011. In Seven Days was premiered in April 2008 at the Royal Festival Hall and later at the Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles. In January 2011 Adès’ latest orchestral work Polaris received its world premiere at the opening of The New World Centre, in Miami. Later in 2011 Adès made his conducting debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performing Polaris.
A renowned conductor and pianist, Adès recently conducted The Rake’s Progress at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Zürich Opera. In 2011 he made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2010 his solo piano recital tour included appearances at Carnegie Hall and London’s Barbican Hall.
Adès’ music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (in 2000, for Asyla), of which he is the youngest-ever recipient. He is the only composer to have won the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Large-scale Composition three times, for Asyla (1997), The Tempest (2004) and Tevot (2007).