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Coates, Eric

Coates, Eric (b Hucknall, Notts., 1886; d Chichester, 1957). Eng. composer and violist. Member of several str. qts. Prin. va., Queen's Hall Orch. 1912. Gave up orch. playing 1919. Comps. in light vein, distinguished by finished craftsmanship, impeccable orchestration, and personal melodic flavour. They incl. several orch. suites—From the Countryside (1915); Summer Days (1919); Cinderella (1929); From Meadow to Mayfair (1929); London (1932); London Again (1936); The Three Elizabeths (1944); The Three Bears (1926). Also Saxo-Rhapsody (1937); The Jester at the Wedding; By the Sleepy Lagoon (1939); Calling All Workers (1940); The Dam Busters March (1942); and many songs incl. ‘Bird Songs at Eventide’ (1926). The London Suite's 3rd movement is the march ‘Knightsbridge’, long famous as introductory music to BBC radio feature ‘In Town Tonight’. By the Sleepy Lagoon is the signature-tune of the BBC's ‘Desert Island Discs’.

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