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Thomas Adès: Almost a great composer

He is the most gifted British composer of his time, but his love of musical extremes holds him back

By Ivan Hewett   May 2017

Strange and familiar Thomas Ades is a musical phenomenon who attracts little serious criticism ©Catherine Ashmore

“Even as the UK is brimming with wonderful young composers, I think few would dispute that Tom Adès may be the most extravagantly gifted of them all.” So claims Simon Rattle, who will soon be returning from Berlin to lead the London Symphony Orchestra. Few would dispute his assertion. Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano and composition at the Guildhall before going on to create orchestral and operatic works that…

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