Klangforum Wien premiered No. 31 (NONcerto for trumpet and ensemble) in 1998, which was awarded a "recommendation" at the 1999 Unesco Rostrum of Composers in Paris. No. 36 (NONcerto for horn and ensemble), premiered by the ASKO Ensemble, requires the soloist to run between two ‘mountain peaks’ between vituosic lines.
Ayres vocal music shares in this sense of theatricality: No. 42 ‘In the Alps’, an "animated concert" written for soprano Barbara Hannigan and the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, uses narrative projections in the style of a silent film. In the UK the work was taken up by the London Sinfonietta, and further performances have been seen in the US with ensembles Alarm Will Sound and Present Music. No. 30 (NONcerto for orchestra, soprano and cello) was premiered by the CBSO at the Aldeburgh Festival and has since received performances in Russia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Ayres’ first opera, The Cricket Recovers, based on a story by children’s author Toon Tellegen, was commissioned and premiered by Aldeburgh Almeida Opera in 2005 and followed by a series of productions including at the Brengenzer Festspiele, Staatsoper Stuttgart and the Holland Festival. His second opera, Peter Pan, was premiered in 2013 by Staatstheater Stuttgart, who will revive their production in coming seasons. A revised version will be presented by Welsh National Opera in Spring 2015 and Komische Oper Berlin will present the opera in Autumn 2016.
A commission from Canada’s Continuum Ensemble allowed Ayres to explore film music through a collaboration with renowned film maker Guy Maddin. The resulting work, No. 43 (Glorious) for ensemble and film, was premiered as part of the SHIFT Festival in Amsterdam and also received performances at the Huddersfield Festival in the UK and in Montreal, Canada.
Portrait discs of Ayres' music have been recorded on Donemus (2003) and NMC (2010) by German ensemble Musikfabrik, and In the Alps was recorded by Barbara Hannigan and the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble. Upcoming commissions include a new orchestral work for BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Donaueschingen Festival, and a full-length opera with theatre group 1927 for Covent Garden.'
Portrait discs of Ayres' music have been recorded on Donemus (2003) and NMC (2010) by German ensemble Musikfabrik, and In the Alps was recorded by Barbara Hannigan and the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble.