Thomas Adès (b. 1971) is an established international figure, both as composer and performer, with popular and critical acclaim and admiration from around the world. Edward Venn examines in depth one of Adès’s most significant works so far, his orchestral Asyla (1997). Its blend of virtuosic orchestral writing, allusions to various idioms, including rave music, and a musical rhetoric encompassing both high modernism and lush romanticism is always compelling and utterly representative of Adès’s distinctive compositional voice. Instantly hailed as a classic, Asyla won the 1997 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Large-Scale Composition.