Adès, Thomas

Adès, Thomas ăd´ĭs [key], 1971–, British composer, conductor, and pianist, b. London, studied Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and King's College, Cambridge. An accomplished, prolific composer of solo, orchestral, chamber, choral, and operatic works, he made his debut (1993) as a pianist at London's Park Lane Group, and attracted attention the next year with his first work, Five Eliot Landscapes (1990) for soprano and piano. Among his works are Asyla (1997), Trevot (2007), and Polaris (2010), for orchestra; Living Toys (1993), for chamber ensemble; The Four Quartets (2010), for string quartet; and Totentanz (2013), for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and orchestra. Adès is particularly known for his operas: Powder Her Face (1995), a chamber work that provoked controversy with its themes of sexual high jinks and divorce among the aristocracy; The Tempest (2003), an expressive interpretation of Shakespeare's play; and The Exterminating Angel (2016), based on the Buñuel film in which dinner guests become incapable of leaving a mansion.

See conversations with T. Service (2012).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: History, Composers, and Performers: Biographies