Skip to main content

Coates, Albert

Coates, Albert

Coates, Albert, eminent English conductor; b. St. Petersburg, Russia (of an English father and a mother of Russian descent), April 23, 1882; d. Milnerton, near Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 11, 1953. He went to England for his general education. He enrolled in science classes at the Univ. of Liverpool, and studied organ with an elder brother who was living there at the time. In 1902 he entered the Leipzig Cons., studying cello with Julius Klengel, piano with Teichmüller, and conducting with Nikisch; served his apprenticeship there and made his debut as conductor in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Leipzig Opera in 1904. In 1905 he was appointed (on Nikisch’s recommendation) chief conductor of the opera house at Elberfeld. From 1907 to 1909 he was a joint conductor at the Dresden Court Opera (with Schuch), then at Mannheim (1909-10, with Bodanzky). In 1911 he received the appointment at the Imperial Opera of St. Petersburg, and conducted many Russian operas. From 1919 he conducted in England, specializing in Wagner and the Russian repertoire; was a proponent of Scriabin’s music. Having made his first appearance at London’s Covent Garden in 1914 with Tristan una Isolde, he conducted there regularly from 1919. From 1919 to 1921 he was principal conductor of the London Sym. Orch. In 1920 he made his American debut as guest conductor of the N.Y. Sym. Orch.; during 1923-25, he led conducting classes at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., conducted the Rochester Phil., and appeared as guest conductor with other American orchs. Subsequent engagements included a season at the Berlin State Opera (1931) and concerts with the Vienna Phil. (1935). In 1938 he conducted for the last time at Covent Garden. In 1946 he settled in South Africa, where he conducted the Johannesburg Sym. Orch. and taught at the Univ. of South Africa at Cape Town. Coates was a prolific composer, but his works had few performances. He was, however, one of the most outstanding, if unheralded, conductors of his generation; he excelled in the Romantic operatic and symphonic repertoire, conducting particularly memorable performances of Russian music and Wagner’s music dramas.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Coates, Albert." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 15 Oct. 2018 <>.

"Coates, Albert." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (October 15, 2018).

"Coates, Albert." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.