Composer conductor Albert Coates was born in St. Petersburg in 1882 into a family of English merchants. He attended primary school in London and high school and university in Liverpool, where he studied sciences. He enrolled at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1902 where he studied conducting with Nikisch. He was a répétiteur for Nikisch and an assistant to Ernst von Schuch in Dresden. From 1910 to 1917 he conducted at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. He left Russia in 1919, after which he regularly worked with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1920, Coates made his debut with the New York Symphony Orchestra. From 1923 to 1925 he was Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1926 he also conducted for the Philharmonic and Symphonic Societies in New York. Occasionally he returned to conduct in Europe, where he worked for a season at the Berlin State Opera (1931), gave concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic (1935), and was engaged as a guest at Covent Garden (1938). Coates married South African singer Vera de Villiers in 1945. They emigrated to South Africa the following year. Initially he worked with the Johannesburg Municipal Orchestra, followed by various opera and orchestral engagements in Cape Town. His last opera, Van Hunks & the Devil, based on a South African topic, was performed for the Van Riebeeck Festival in 1952. Coates died in Cape Town on 11 December 1953. The complete Coates collection consists of address books, artefacts, articles, autograph books, brochures, certificates, correspondence, furniture, libretti, monographs, music manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, notes, objets d’art (busts, paintings), periodicals, photographic negatives, photographs, posters, printed music, programmes and sound recordings (gramophone records).

Recent Submissions

  • Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra [Programme]. Annotated in pencil.
  • Melbourne 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Programme. Details of performances in Melbourne and Sydney. Duration of works indicated.
  • Suites & miscellaneous 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Suites & miscellaneous .
  • Overtures 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Overtures.
  • Programmes for Stadium July 26th-August 1st 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Programmes for Stadium. Annotated in pencil.
  • Symphonies and works in pace of same 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Symphonies and works in pace of same. Annotated in pencil.
  • Overtures & beginnings 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Overtures and beginnings.
  • Graaff's Pool 

    De Villiers Coates, Vera
    Notes. Notes about and by Vera Coates [Vera de Villiers]. Notes on Graaff's Pool. Contains calculations [dates] in blue ink.
  • Work list 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Works by A. Coates.
  • Work list 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Works by A. Coates.
  • Work list 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. During the Soviet regime, both in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) & Moscow. Annotations.
  • Work list 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. List of music etc. At 9 Bedford Row, W.C.1.
  • Work list 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. List of works by various composers. Duration of works indicated. Contains Ms sketches in pencil, with: "Saul"; page numbered 154. Calculations in pencil.
  • 6 symphonies 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. 6 symphonies. List of symphonies by various composers. Duration of works indicated.
  • Work list 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Works by A. Coates. Chronological list.
  • Music for Albert Coates season 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Music for Albert Coates season. Music available in SABC Music Library and various other locations.
  • Operas conducted during the Tzarist regime, 1910-1917 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. Operas conducted during the Tzarist regime, 1910-1917 .
  • During the Soviet regime 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Notes. Work lists and performances conducted by Albert Coates. During the Soviet regime, both in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) & Moscow. Annotations.
  • Correspondence from Louis Gruenberg 

    Gruenberg, Louis, 1884-1964
    Letter from Louis Gruenberg. Congratulations on Coates's marriage.
  • Letter 

    Coates, Albert, 1882-1953
    Correspondence. Letter to Ernest Fleischmann. Omissions and corrections regarding Van Riebeeck Festival programme.

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