Composer–conductor Thomas Adès is giving a series of concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It’s the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with this versatile Brit and his sensational music. On this programme, he is also conducting colourful works by Janáček and Busoni.
Thomas Adès has composed many a musical surprise, varying from hilarious opera to horror-like orchestral works. His compositions are always accessible and compelling, but also sharp-edged. Affable music can suddenly take a nasty turn, while peace is often merely the calm before a fierce storm. ‘Adès knows that the distinction between “classical” and “new” music has become untenable,’ wrote a UK newspaper. In Amsterdam, he will be conducting the Dutch premiere of the fascinating piano concerto which he recently composed for the Russian–American pianist Kirill Gerstein.
When Adès conducts, his programmes generally feature less common works alongside his own compositions. In this case, the works emphasise the Romantic aspects of his own music. Leos Janáček’s fanfare-like Sinfonietta is one of those pieces which sounds fresh and new every time it’s performed. Unlike the Sinfonietta, his ‘ballade for orchestra’ The Fiddler’s Child featuring a solo violin part is not at all well known. The programme also features the very first work by the captivating neoclassicist Busoni ever to be programmed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.