His compositions include two operas, Powder Her Face (Cheltenham Festival/Almeida Theatre, London, 1995), and The Tempest (Royal Opera, Covent Garden, 2004). Other orchestral works include Asyla (CBSO, 1997), Tevot (Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, 2007), Polaris (New World Symphony, Miami 2011), Violin Concerto Concentric Paths (Berliner Festspiele and London Proms, 2005), In Seven Days (Piano concerto with moving image - LA Philharmonic and RFH London 2008), and Totentanz for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra (London Proms, 2013).
Chamber works include the string quartets Arcadiana (1993) and The Four Quarters (2011), Piano Quintet (2001), and Lieux retrouvés for cello and piano (2010). Solo piano works include Darknesse Visible (1992), Traced Overhead (1996), and Three Mazurkas (2010). Choral works include The Fayrfax Carol (King's College, Cambridge 1997), America: a Prophecy (New York Philharmonic, 1999) and January Writ (Temple Church, London 2000).
From 1999 to 2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.
As a conductor he appears regularly with, among others, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw, Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, BBC Symphony, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor he has conducted The Rake's Progress at the Royal Opera, London and the Zürich Opera, and last Autumn made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera New York conducting The Tempest. He will conduct this production of The Tempest at the Vienna Staatsoper in 2015 with the Vienna Philharmonic.
Future plans include Totentanz with the Boston and Chicago Symphonies and the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics.
Recent piano engagements include solo recitals at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium), New York and the Barbican in London, and concerto appearances with the New York Philharmonic.
Prizes include: Grawemeyer Award for Asyla (1999); Royal Philharmonic Society large-scale composition awards for Asyla, The Tempest and Tevot; Ernst von Siemens Composers' prize for Arcadiana; British Composer Award for The Four Quarters; and Best Opera Grammy and Diapason d'or de l'année (Paris) for The Tempest. He coaches Piano and Chamber Music annually at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove.