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About this Piece

Adès became the hottest voice in British new music following the premiere of his first opera, Powder Her Face, in 1995. The acclaim was renewed with his second opera, The Tempest, at the Royal Opera House in 2004. He has composed in most genres of concert music, including songs, chamber music, and concertos. His orchestral piece Asyla, premiered in 1997 by Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, won the 2000 Grawemeyer Music Award. Adès is also a highly regarded pianist and conductor, and served for ten years as Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival. He has become a popular favorite in Los Angeles, where he moved recently, and has been an On Location resident with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. All the facets of his work will be on display next month in the Aspects of Adès project. (Please page 30 for additional details.)

Adès’ second work for string quartet, The Four Quarters had its world premiere at Carnegie Hall just two days before the performance here. “The piece is rhythmically challenging, with a lot of asymmetrical meters; the last movement, for example, is in 25/16, which usually subdivides into two unequal ‘halves’ as 4+4+3 and then 4+4+3+3.” Emerson violinist Eugene Drucker wrote on the Quartet’s blog as they were learning the work. “More important for audiences in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and London, where it will be heard within a month of its premiere: the textures and colors are attractive and varied, and there is a clearly discernible shape to each of the four movements.”