Thomas Adès Piano Concerto to Receive UK Premiere

Thomas Adès and Kirill Gerstein at the premiere of Concerto for Piano Orchestra in Boston on 7 March (Photo: Winslow Townson)

Thomas Adès Piano Concerto to Receive UK Premiere

Composer will conduct performance by Kirill Gerstein and London Philharmonic Orchestra in October.

British composer Thomas Adès will conduct the UK premiere of his new Concerto for Piano Orchestra on 23 October at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Performed by, and written for, the Russian-American pianist Kirill Gerstein, the work received its world premiere in Boston in March. Adès will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in the upcoming performance.

Writing in the New Yorker about the premiere last March, Alex Ross said:

Few concertos have ever been more immaculately tailored to their first interpreter. Gerstein is a heavyweight performer, having conquered Liszt’s monstrously difficult Transcendental Études. In 2017, he joined the Boston Symphony for a rare performance of Ferruccio Busoni’s even more monstrous Piano Concerto. … Some of Adès’s madcap writing in the concerto may doff a hat to Busoni’s Mephistophelian masterpiece. Adès also nods to the fact that Gerstein is a serious jazz player, a brilliant exponent of Gershwin. It can’t be an accident that the concerto’s opening gesture brushes against the intervals of Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm’.

Adès wrote his first piano concerto, In Seven Days, for Gerstein also, in 2012. Following the London performance of the new work, the Concerto will travel to Helsinki, Munich, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles. Adès will conduct all performances. Watch an extract from the work below.

Adès also recently conducted the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s Viola Concerto. Read our review here.

For tickets to the UK premiere, visit

Published on 7 August 2019

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