He entered a civil partnership, later terminated, with Israeli filmmaker and video artist Tal Rosner in 2006.
In 2007 a retrospective festival of his work was presented at the Barbican Arts Centre in London and he was the focus of Radio France's annual contemporary music festival, "Présences" and Helsinki's "Ultimo" festival. The Barbican festival, "Traced Overhead: The Musical World of Thomas Adès", included the UK premiere of a new work for Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, Tevot. Journalist Tom Service wrote of the piece, "Of any piece of new music I've heard at its premiere, this is one of the most immediately, richly powerful." In the spring of 2007, The Tempest returned to the Royal Opera House.
In 2009, he was the focus of Stockholm Concert Hall's annual Composer Festival and was in 2010 appointed foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and large orchestra, commissioned by Robin Boyle and dedicated to Witold Lutos?awski and his wife Danuta, was premiered on 7 July 2013 by the BBC Symphony Orchestra as part of that year's BBC Proms.
Adès's 1995 chamber opera with a libretto by Philip Hensher, won both good reviews and notoriety for its musical depiction of fellatio. The opera was commissioned by Almeida Opera Festival, and has since been given new productions by chamber opera groups around the world. The Duchess depicted in the opera is the notorious Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll whose scandalous behaviour in Britain in the early 1960s was revealed during her divorce trial with the introduction into evidence of photographs of her various sexual acts. Adès's "Concert Paraphrase" on Powder Her Face for solo piano was premiered by the composer for the Vancouver Recital Society on 14 March 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; the work was co-commissioned by the VRS, San Francisco Performances, and the Barbican Centre in London.
a cappella choral composition. Written originally for King's College, Cambridge, 1997, the piece has been recorded by ensembles such as the BBC Singers and also the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus. The work received its U.S. West Coast premiere by International Orange Chorale of San Francisco.
Five Eliot Landscapes
Adès's first opus, published in 1990.
a seven-movement, 20-minute string quartet (Op. 12), was recorded in 1998 along with other work from the 1993 to 1994 period.
a work for chamber ensemble of 7 players. The piece is based on song by Madness. It received its premiere at Meltdown, Purcell Room, London in 1995 by Composers Ensemble.
a mixed chamber work for clarinet, piano, violin and violincello. It premiered in 1993 at St George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol by Lynsey Marsh, Anthony Marwood, Louise Hopkins and Thomas Adès.
a work for 15 players, Chamber Symphony lasts approximately 13 minutes and was given its first performance at the Cambridge Festival of Contemporary Music, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge by Contemporary Music Festival Ensemble under the baton of Thomas Adès in 1991.
a work for piano and chamber ensemble (10 players). The piece was given its premiere at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Thomas Adès in 1997.
this chamber work for clarinet, violin, cello and piano lasts approximately 8 minutes and was given its premiere in 2005 at the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh Festival by the Composers Ensemble.
for clarinet, bass clarinet, viola, cello and double bass. Written for Wilfred Mellers's 80th birthday, it was first performed at Dartington International Summer School's Great Hall by The Composers Ensemble in 1994.
for cello and piano. Co-commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival, Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall. First performed at Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk by Steven Isserlis and Thomas Adès in 2009.; 2016 BBC Proms UK Premiere of Version for orchestra
a work for soprano and chamber ensemble of 3 players, Life Story is set to Tennessee Williams's text. It was written for The Composers Ensemble and received its first performance in 1993 at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge University.
a mixed chamber ensemble work for 10 players was commissioned by the Halle Orchestra. It began life in 1994 at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester under the baton of the composer himself.
received its premiere at the 2001 Melbourne Festival, Australia by Thomas Adès (piano) and the Arditti Quartet. Recording of the work with Adès on the piano and the Arditti Quartet (plus Schubert's Trout Quintet -with Belcea Quartet- as its companion) was released in 2005 on CD by EMI.
Other musical activities
In 1993, at the age of twenty-two, Adès gave his first public piano recital in London as part of the Park Lane Group series of recitals.
"Darkness Visible" and "Still Sorrowing" performed by pianist Gloria Cheng
"These Premises are Alarmed" conducted by Rattle with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
He is also a noted pianist, having been a runner-up in the BBC's Young Musician of the Year competition in 1990. EMI has released a CD of Adès as a solo performer called "Thomas Adès: Piano" and several CDs as an accompanist, frequently with Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis and others. As a student Adès was a percussionist; he is noted for having played percussion in Stravinsky's "Les noces" under Sir Simon Rattle.
Adès conducting the U.S. premiere (co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Berlin Festival) of the Violin Concerto, performed by Anthony Marwood, along with selections of "The Tempest".
Chamber concerts with L.A. Philharmonic musicians with Adès at the piano in pieces by Schubert and Beethoven.
Chamber concerts of music for piano and violin by Stravinsky, with Adès at the piano and Anthony Marwood on violin at the Doheny Mansion for the Da Camera Society of Mount St. Mary's College.
Adès conducting a Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group "Green Umbrella" concert featuring Piano Quintet (U.S. West Coast premiere), Origin of the Harp (U.S. premiere), and Chamber Symphony, Opus 2 (U.S. West Coast premiere), plus "Scenes from a Novel" by György Kurtág (Elizabeth Keusch, soprano soloist) and "Cantus Planus" by Niccolò Castiglioni.
A chamber music programme featuring Adès on the piano with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a programme that included Jean Françaix's "Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano," "Nell'ombra, nella luce" by Steven Stucky, and the "Piano Quintet No. 2" of Gabriel Fauré
Adès conducting a Green Umbrella programme featuring the U.S. premiere of Gerald Barry's "The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit."
Adès conducting "Asyla" with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
In 2010 Adès was again composer-in-residence, this time of the Melbourne Festival in Australia, under the artistic direction of Brett Sheehy. While there, performances included:
Adès conducting the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in a program of works including Adès' Overture from The Tempest, his Violin Concerto Concentric Paths, and his and Rosner's (visuals) In Seven Days Piano Concerto with Moving Image
Adès and the Calder Quartet in a program of works including Adès' Arcadiana, his Darkness Visible, his Three Mazurkas, and his Piano Quintet, with Adès as pianist
Adès conducting the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in a program or works including Adès' Les Baricades Misterieuses, his Three Studies from Couperin, and his Chamber Symphony
ANAM presenting a program of works including Adès' Living Toys
Powder Her Face was made into a film by Channel 4 and shown on Christmas Day 1999 in the UK. The film was released on DVD in the UK for Christmas 2005, including a documentary film about Adès made by Gerald Fox at around the same time. It is also available in the US.
Asyla (along with Mahler's 5th Symphony) formed Sir Simon Rattle's opening concert with the Berlin Philharmonic. The two concerts given were recorded and released as a DVD in 2002.
"The Tempest": the Metropolitan Opera production from 2012, conducted by Adès, was issued on DG. Prospero: Simon Keenlyside; Ariel: Audrey Luna; Caliban: Alan Oke; Miranda: Isabel Leonard; Ferdinand: Alek Shrader; King of Naples: William Burden; Antonio: Tony Spence; Stefano: Kevin Burdette; Trinculo: Iestyn Davies; Sebastian: Christopher Feigum; Gonzalo: John Del Carlo. The production was by Robert Lepage.