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Eric Coates

Biography

Born: August 27, 1886; Hucknall, Nottingham, England   Died: December 21, 1957; Chichester, England  
Eric Coates was perhaps the most important composer of symphonic light music in the first half of the twentieth century outside the Viennese sphere. He took the music genre and made it into as bona fide and influential an art form as that created by any member of the Strauss family. He is often regarded as the Mozart of a music world whose generally light emotional expression is colored by splashy orchestration and perky rhythms. Yet, his music Read more featured an elegance and aristocratic air and could capture moods and, in stage works, story lines with deftly vivid imagery. Among his important compositions are the 1930 ballet Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, revised eight years later and re-titled The Enchanted Garden; and Springtime Suite from 1937. Even though Coates composed music in a less serious genre, he must be regarded nearly as highly as England's other important figures from his time, Vaughan Williams, Sir Arnold Bax, and Gustav Holst.

The youngest of five children, whose physician father was an amateur flutist and whose mother was an accomplished pianist, Eric began study on the violin at age six. Later on he took up the viola. He showed no serious interest in composing until age 20 when he entered the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied viola with Lionel Tertis and composition with Frederick Corder.

In the period between 1908 and 1909, he wrote his first vocal works: Four old English Songs and Stonecracker John. In 1910 he began playing the viola in the Beecham Symphony Orchestra and shortly afterward got a similar post in the Queen's Hall Orchestra, under Sir Henry Wood. He turned out his first orchestral work, the Miniature Suite, in 1911. Two years later, Coates married 18-year-old Phyllis Black, who would write lyrics for him and be of immense help to him throughout his career. Because of a progressive neuritis in his left hand and arm, Coates was exempt from military service during the war years. By 1919, however, the condition forced him to give up his first-chair viola post in the Queen's Hall Orchestra.

In 1927, Coates composed his orchestral suite Four Ways, which achieved considerable popularity. Perhaps his greatest success, though, came with the 1933 London Suite, which contained a section called "Knightsbridge," a march that took on a life apart from the suite when it was used to introduce the BBC radio program In Town Tonight, which became familiar to virtually every British listener during its 27-year run.

When his wife began working for the Red Cross in 1940, Coates was moved to write Calling All Workers, whose theme was subsequently used by the BBC for another radio show, Music While You Work. The orchestral suites Four Centuries (1942) and Three Elizabeths (1944) merely solidified his position now as the composer of the most familiar British music of all time.

In the postwar years, Coates continued to turn out popular scores, like Music Everywhere (1949). The composer continued to be active as a conductor in his last years, taking up the baton at one notable Promenade concert in August 1956, after Sir Malcolm Sargent had led the orchestra in a Tchaikovsky work. The 70-year-old Coates led the ensemble in his Four Centuries Suite and drew an enthusiastic response from the audience. Coates suffered a stroke and died on December 23, 1957. Read less
Coates: London Calling - Music For Wind Band Vol 1 / Kingston
Release Date: 01/25/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554488   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 115 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    100 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27315 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean,  Gerald Moore,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 27.
    50 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27359 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury,  Thomas Williamson,  Sir David Willcocks,  Peter Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Wallace Collection (Brass Ensemble)
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  • 28.
    Time Traveller - Wartime Britain
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 79012 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Cecil Armstrong Gibbs,  Richard Addinsell,  Walter Kent  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Adni,  Vera Lynn,  Noel Coward,  Al Bowlly  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir William Walton,  Vivian Dunn,  Kenneth Alwyn,  Tony Osborne  ... 
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  • 29.
    A Royal Fanfare
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1263 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Elgar Howarth,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  James Judd,  Geoffrey A. Kingston,  Christopher Robinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Philharmonic Brass Ensemble,  Malmö Brass Ensemble
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  • 30.
    British Light Music
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1381 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Williams,  Robert Farnon,  Ray Martin,  Arthur Wood  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Williams,  Sidney Torch,  Ray Martin,  Robert Farnon  ... 
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  • 31.
    John Williams & The Boston Pops - A Celebration
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001649302 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Vangelis,  Max Steiner,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 32.
    The Lost Transcriptions - Vol. 2 / Percy Faith, Mantovani, Sidney Torch
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5181 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Cole Porter,  Louis Silvers,  Ray Noble  ... 
    Performer:  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Vincent Abato
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Sidney Torch
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  • 33.
    British Composers - British Light Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 0887962 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Ronald Binge,  Albert William Ketčlbey,  Percy Aldridge Grainger  ... 
    Conductor:  Gilbert Vinter,  Sir Charles Groves,  Reginald Kilbey,  Sir Vivian Dunn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Arte Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Studio Two Concert Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    Icon: Charles Mackerras - Master Of Orchestral Texture
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 98189 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonín Dvorák,  Arthur Sullivan,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Malcolm Stewart,  Elizabeth Harwood
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Pro Arte Orchestra  ... 
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  • 35.
    The  Golden Age Of Light Music: Portrait Of My Love
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5179 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Ornadel,  Eric Coates,  Cole Porter,  Sammy Fain  ... 
    Performer:  Cyril Ornadel,  Danish State Radio Orchestra,  Victor Silvester,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani  ... 
    Conductor:  Cyril Ornadel,  Robert Farnon,  Victor Silvester,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani  ... 
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  • 36.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - The Composer Conducts Vol 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5178 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Don Gillis,  Robert Farnon,  Peter Yorke  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Sandford,  Montague Ewing,  Albert William Ketčlbey,  Harriet Cohen
    Conductor:  Alfred Newman,  Don Gillis,  Robert Farnon,  Peter Yorke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neapolitan Novelty Band
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  • 37.
    Nettle & Markham In England
    Label: Netmark   Catalog: 200 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Addinsell,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jeremy Nicholas,  Noel Gay  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Markham,  David Nettle
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  • 38.
    British Composers - Guide To Britain
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 29001 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Herbert Howells,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  Garth Benson,  Robert Tear,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Felicity Palmer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Boris Ord,  André Previn,  Philip Ledger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Music Group of London,  Polyphony (Vocal Ensemble)
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  • 39.
    Shakespeare Inspired / Michelle Breedt, Nina Schumann
    Label: Twopianists (Label)   Catalog: 1039077 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Mervyn Horder,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Michelle Breedt,  Nina Schumann
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  • 40.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: The Lost Transcriptions, Vol. 1
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5174 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Jerome Kern,  Edward B. Claypoole,  David Rose  ... 
    Performer:  Lou Whiteson
    Conductor:  Sidney Torch,  Percy Faith,  David Rose,  Dolf van der Linden  ... 
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  • 41.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: War And Peace - Light Music Of The 1940s
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5171 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Belton,  Hoagy Carmichael,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Laurance Turner,  Peggy Cochrane,  Henry Bronkhurst,  Guy Fletcher
    Conductor:  Charles Shadwell,  Percy Faith,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
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  • 42.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: A First A-Z Of Light Music
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5169 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vivian Ellis,  George Forrest,  David Rose,  Aldo Von Pinelli  ... 
    Performer:  Queen's Hall Light Orchestra,  Warren Barker and His Orchestra,  David & His Orchestra Rose,  Hans-Georg Arlt Orchestra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sidney Torch,  Warren Barker,  David Rose,  Hans-Georg Arlt  ... 
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  • 43.
    Pure Diva - Tribute To Joan Hammond / Cheryl Barker
    Label: Melba   Catalog: 301129 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  Cheryl Barker
    Conductor:  Guillaume Tourniaire
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queensland Symphony Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Not Sousa Vol 3 - Even More Great Marches Not By Sousa
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT60825 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Franz Wagner,  William Paris Chambers,  Johan Wichers,  Roland Forrest Seitz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Navy Band,  United States Air Force Band,  United States Marine Band  ... 
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  • 45.
    Best Of British - The Nation's Favourite Classical Music
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31600 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Robert Cohen,  Paul Beniston,  Mair Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Simon Rattle,  Norman Del Mar,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi of England
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  • 46.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music - The Hall Of Fame, Vol. 3
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5162 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nacio Herb Brown,  Victor Herbert,  Ron Goodwin,  José Belmonte  ... 
    Performer:  William Hill-Bowen
    Conductor:  Buddy Bregman,  Percy Faith,  David Carroll,  Philip Green  ... 
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  • 47.
    Showtime: 25 Years Of Bbc Concert Orchestra Favourites
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 7242 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Georges Bizet,  Kenneth Alford,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Alasdair Malloy,  Stephen Whibley
    Conductor:  Roderick Dunk
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  • 48.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music - The 1930s Revisited
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5163 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hal Mooney,  Eduard Künneke,  Carl Robrecht,  Ivor Novello  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Mordish
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Eduard Künneke,  Charles Prentice,  Charles Shadwell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  J. H. Squire Celeste Octet
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  • 49.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - More Strings In Stereo!
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5159 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Victor Herbert,  Bert Kaempfert,  Manuel Ponce,  Angela Morley  ... 
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Robert Farnon,  Pierre Challet,  Angela Morley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percy Faith Orchestra,  Robert Farnon Orchestra,  Pierre Challet Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    A Royal Pageant
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Elgar Howarth,  Matthew Locke,  Eric Coates  ... 
    Conductor:  James Judd,  Major Geoffrey Kingston,  Christopher Robinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Stockholm Philharmonic Brass Ensemble,  Malmo Brass Ensemble  ... 
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