"...one of the most acclaimed musicians of our time...” BBVA Foundation

Composer, conductor and pianist Thomas Adès has won the prestigious 2023 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Music and Opera. As the fifteenth recipient of the award he joins an illustrious roster of prize-winners in the category, including his mentor György Kurtág, Arvo Pärt, Steve Reich, and Pierre Boulez.

The awards committee described “the extraordinary international reach of his work, which has made him one of the most acclaimed musicians of our time”.  Their citation highlights “the communicative capacity of his music, which connects transversally with diverse audiences while opening up future horizons” through “an extensive catalogue of compositions that comprises all genres: symphonic, piano, chamber music, ballet and opera.” These qualities, they continue, “along with his intensive activities as a pianist and conductor, make him an essential reference in today’s musical scene. Adès, who has a deep knowledge of the Western musical tradition, shows great interest in its reinterpretation, incorporating elements from the most diverse musical sources.”

Adès discusses his career, with particular reference to Spanish art and culture, in an article published on the Foundation website here, including comments on his work from Francisco Coll. Watch an interview with the composer here.

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, funded with 400,000 euros in each of their eight categories, recognize and reward contributions of singular impact in science, technology, the humanities and music, privileging those that significantly enlarge the stock of knowledge in a discipline, open up new fields, or build bridges between disciplinary areas.

Adès was recently announced as Leipzig Gewandhaus composer-in-residence for the 2023/24 season. Current projects include a new work for Sir Simon Rattle and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which will premiere in 2024, as well as a new piece for guitarist Sean Shibe, commissioned by ECHO, premiering at the Wiener Konzerthaus in October this year.

This week Adès conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in four performances of his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (2018) with longstanding collaborator Kirill Gerstein. Earlier this month Adès conducted Paradiso from his acclaimed ballet score Dante (2019-2021) with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Boston Symphony Orchestra.