Thomas Adès

Biography

Born: March 1, 1971; London, England  
Thomas Adès is among the brightest young stars in contemporary composition, and a musician of broad achievement and influence. His complex and appealing music exhibits a flair for drama, humor, and personal expression, and is notable for the creative use of instrumental color. Also active as a pianist and conductor, Adès divides his time between composition and a busy performing schedule, as well as teaching at the Royal Academy of Music and Read more serving as artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival.

Having studied at the Guildhall School of Music, Adès took second prize in piano at the 1989 BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. Further studies at King's College, Cambridge, confirmed a move towards composition as his primary vocation, and his first works were written there. After his graduation in 1992, Adès moved quickly into the professional world with a performance of his Chamber Symphony by the BBC Philharmonic (in 1993 under Matthias Bamert). Further performances came during his tenure as Composer in Association with the Halle Orchestra, for which he wrote The Origin of the Harp (1994), and These Premises are Alarmed (1996). Other works composed during this period include Still Sorrowing, Op. 7, and Traced Overhead, Op. 15, for solo piano; ...but all shall be well, Op. 10, for orchestra; Arcadania, Op. 12, for string quartet; and Living Toys, Op. 9, for chamber ensemble, which was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta under Oliver Knussen.

Adès' reputation was secured by his chamber opera, Powder Her Face, Op. 14, a commission from Almeida Opera for the 1995 Cheltenham Festival. Its premiere, as well as productions in Germany and the United States attracted enormous critical attention and praise, and led to a commission for the 2004 season at Covent Garden (The Tempest, an adaptation of Shakespeare). His first large-scale orchestral work, Asyla -- which was premiered by Simon Rattle and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1997 -- established Adès' reputation as a composer of lasting value and individuality. Read less

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Browse 1-2 of 2 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Adès: America: A Prophecy
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57610 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Adès,  François Couperin,  Christopher Foreman
    Performer:  Tom Poster,  Richard Benjafield,  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent,  Hugh Webb  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton,  Thomas Adès
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polyphony,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Composers Ensemble  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ades: Asyla / Rattle, City Of Birmingham
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 56818 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Adès
    Performer:  Thomas Adès
    Conductor:  Thomas Adès,  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Birmingham Contemporary Music Group,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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Thomas Adès


MOST POPULAR WORKS
America: Part I Oh my nation prepare...
America: Part II Burn, burn, burn
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): I. Venezia notturna
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): II. Das klinget so herrlich, das Iklinget so schön
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): III. Auf dem Wasser zu singen
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): IV. Et....(tango mortale)
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): V. L'Embarquement -
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): VI. O Albion
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): VII. Lethe
Asyla (for Orchestra): I
Asyla (for Orchestra): II
Asyla (for Orchestra): III Ecstasio
Asyla (for Orchestra): IV
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): I
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): II
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): III
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): IV
Concerto Conciso (for Piano and Chamber Ensemble): I
Concerto Conciso (for Piano and Chamber Ensemble): II -
Concerto Conciso (for Piano and Chamber Ensemble): [dotted crotchet = 116]
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: I. New Hampshire
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: II. Virginia
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: III. Usk
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: IV. Rannoch, by Glencoe
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: V. Cape Ann
Fool's Rhymes: Supernat'ral light...
Fool's Rhymes: We're all in the dumps...
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I: Overture (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Oo, aa! ha ha ha ha ha (Maid/Electrician)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: I see. This is what it has come to
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Take it from me (Duchess/Electrician/Maid)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Interlude (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: Of course she's done well
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: I could never grow bored of dukedoms (Confidante/Lounge Lizard/Duchess)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: I hear him coming (Pantomime) (Duchess/Confidante/Lounge Lizard/Duke)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: Interlude (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Fancy, fancy being rich (Waitress)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Interlude - Scene 4: Nineteen fifty-three ...mm...ah!...How may I help you? (Duchess/Laundryman/Other Guest)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: ...mm..ah!...Room service?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: What have you got there?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Come here (Duchess/Waiter)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Interlude (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Is Daddy squiffy?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Are you saying the Duchess is a whore?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Ha ha ha ha...(Paper chase) (Mistress/Duke)
Piano Quintet: 1
Piano Quintet: 2
Piano Quintet: 3
The Lover in Winter: Iam nocet frigus teneris
The Lover in Winter: Nec limpha caret alveus
The Lover in Winter: Modo frigescit quidquid est
The Lover in Winter: Nutritur ignis osculo
WORKS
America: Part I Oh my nation prepare...
America: Part II Burn, burn, burn
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): I. Venezia notturna
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): II. Das klinget so herrlich, das Iklinget so schön
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): III. Auf dem Wasser zu singen
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): IV. Et....(tango mortale)
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): V. L'Embarquement -
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): VI. O Albion
Arcadiana, Op.12 (1994): VII. Lethe
Asyla (for Orchestra): I
Asyla (for Orchestra): II
Asyla (for Orchestra): III Ecstasio
Asyla (for Orchestra): IV
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): I
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): II
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): III
Chamber Symphony Op.2 (for fifteen players): IV
Concerto Conciso (for Piano and Chamber Ensemble): I
Concerto Conciso (for Piano and Chamber Ensemble): II -
Concerto Conciso (for Piano and Chamber Ensemble): [dotted crotchet = 116]
Violin Concerto: Rings
Violin Concerto: Paths
Violin Concerto: Rounds
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: I. New Hampshire
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: II. Virginia
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: III. Usk
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: IV. Rannoch, by Glencoe
Five Eliot Landscapes Op. 1: V. Cape Ann
Fool's Rhymes: Supernat'ral light...
Fool's Rhymes: We're all in the dumps...
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): I. Angels -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): II. Aurochs -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): BALETT -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): III Militiamen -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): IV. H.A.L.'s Death -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): BATTLE -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): V. Playing Funerals -
Living Toys, Op.9 (1993): TABLET
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I: Overture (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Oo, aa! ha ha ha ha ha (Maid/Electrician)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: I see. This is what it has come to
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Take it from me (Duchess/Electrician/Maid)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 1: Nineteen ninety: Interlude (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: Of course she's done well
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: I could never grow bored of dukedoms (Confidante/Lounge Lizard/Duchess)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: I hear him coming (Pantomime) (Duchess/Confidante/Lounge Lizard/Duke)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 2: Nineteen thirty-four: Interlude (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Fancy, fancy being rich (Waitress)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Interlude - Scene 4: Nineteen fifty-three ...mm...ah!...How may I help you? (Duchess/Laundryman/Other Guest)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: ...mm..ah!...Room service?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: What have you got there?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Come here (Duchess/Waiter)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 3: Nineteen thirty-six: Interlude (Orchestra)
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Is Daddy squiffy?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Are you saying the Duchess is a whore?
Powder Her Face (an Opera in two acts) Op.14, ACT I, Scene 5: Nineteen fifty-three: Ha ha ha ha...(Paper chase) (Mistress/Duke)
Piano Quintet: 1
Piano Quintet: 2
Piano Quintet: 3
The Four Quarters: I. Nightfalls
The Four Quarters: II. Serenade - Morning Dew
The Four Quarters: III. Days
The Four Quarters: IV. The Twenty-Fifth Hour
The Lover in Winter: Iam nocet frigus teneris
The Lover in Winter: Nec limpha caret alveus
The Lover in Winter: Modo frigescit quidquid est
The Lover in Winter: Nutritur ignis osculo
Traced overhead Op. 15 (1990): Sursum
Traced overhead Op. 15 (1990): Aetheria
Traced overhead Op. 15 (1990): Chori
Under Hamelin Hill Op. 6: Preambulum (2 hands)
Under Hamelin Hill Op. 6: Fuga (2-6 hands)
Under Hamelin Hill Op. 6: Arietta (2 hands)