‘One of the most accomplished and complete musicians of his generation’ The New York Times

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 as one of today’s ‘most accomplished overall musicians.’

Adès’ first opera, Powder Her Face (1995) has been performed worldwide whilst his second, The Tempest, was commissioned by London’s Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in 2004. It was revived in 2007 and has since had several performances elsewhere, including the Metropolitan Opera New York where it was recorded for a Deutsche Grammophon DVD which subsequently won a Grammy Award. Adès’s third opera, after Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel, premiered at the Salzburg Festival in July 2016.

Adès’s many musical advocates include Sir Simon Rattle who performed Asyla (1997) at his final concert with the CBSO and his first as Music Director of the Berlin Philharmonic, and Tevot with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2007. In 2011 the orchestral work Polaris was premiered by the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami and has since been choreographed by Crystal Pite. Adès’ Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone and large orchestra was premiered at the 2013 Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Adès has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Léonie Sonning Music Prize 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. Adès was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1999 to 2008 and coaches piano and chamber music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.


Three-piece Suite from Powder Her Face

Usher Hall (Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom)

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Thomas Søndergård

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Three-piece Suite from Powder Her Face

New Auditorium, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom)

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Thomas Søndergård

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Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre (London, United Kingdom)

London Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Adès, Simon Keenlyside, Christianne Stotijn

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

Symphony Center (Chicago, IL, USA)

Kirill Gerstein, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Adès

Traced Overhead

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre (London, United Kingdom)

Vikingur Olafsson