The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Music and Opera category goes, in this fifteenth edition, to Thomas Adès for the extraordinary international reach of his work, which has placed him among the most acclaimed musicians of our time. His extensive catalogue of compositions – comprising all genres: symphonic, piano, chamber music, ballet, and opera – along with his intense activity in concert halls as a pianist and conductor, make him an essential reference in today’s musical scene.
Adès has a deep knowledge of the Western musical tradition and also incorporates elements from the most diverse musical sources.
His works include milestones of contemporary music such as Asyla (1998, commissioned by Simon Rattle), In Seven Days (2008), Polaris (2011), Tevot (2007), and others, which are already mainstays of the concert repertoire. His operas Powder Her Face (1995), The Tempest (2004), and The Exterminating Angel (2016), based on the film by Luis Buñuel, have been programmed with great success at the MET after their premieres in London and the Salzburg Festival. Last year the Royal Opera House hosted the premiere of his ballet The Dante Project (2019-2020).
The committee highlights the communicative capacity of his music, which connects transversally with diverse audiences around the world while opening up future horizons.