The Schmooze

Thomas Adès Takes Manhattan

Fans of modern music may already know the accomplished young composer, pianist, and conductor Thomas Adès. Born in London in 1971 of Syrian Jewish ancestry, Adès’s highly theatrical, sometimes quite humorous imagination is uncommon among composers of his generation.

In rare interviews, Adès reveals the gravity and sobriety of a master of ironic double meanings. The title of his 2007 orchestral work “Tevot,” which is being released by EMI Classics on March 23, refers to the Hebrew word for “arks” but also “bars in a piece of music.” Adès told The Guardian that “Tevot” captures the concept of the “ship of the world,” adding: “Watching the orchestra play ‘Tevot’ feels a bit like watching people on a boat, as the music’s being thrown from one side of the orchestra and smashing into the other side, almost as if it’s going to capsize.”

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Thomas Adès Takes Manhattan

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