Gloria Coates Cause Of Death
Edition Peters Group regrets to announce the passing of composer Gloria Coates, who peacefully left us on August 19 after a brief hospital stay due to a diagnosis of late-stage pancreatic cancer. At the age of 89, her remarkable musical journey came to an end.
Referred to by Mark Swed of the LA Times as ‘the most obscure great composer of our time,’ Coates leaves behind a legacy of 17 symphonies, 10 string quartets, chamber pieces, solos, and vocal compositions. Her collaboration with Edition Peters began in May 2021 when she signed a publishing agreement with the company.
Coates’ musical architecture was defined by a striking structural clarity, over which she wove intricate patterns of glissandi and microtonal nuances. Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, USA, she started composing and experimenting with overtones and clusters from an early age.
Her educational journey took her from Chicago to Cooper Union Art School in NYC and Louisiana for a Master’s in Composition. Postgraduate studies at Columbia University further refined her craft under the guidance of mentors like Alexander Tcherepnin, Otto Luening, and Jack Beeson.
From 1969, Coates called Munich, Germany her primary home. Her debut symphony, “Music on Open Strings,” premiered at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1978 with the Polish Chamber Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk. In 1986, this work was a finalist for the Koussevitzky International Award (KIRA). A monumental moment arrived in 1980 at Munich’s Musica Viva, where her symphony achieved a milestone as the first orchestral composition by a woman composer to be featured in the 34-year history of the Festival.
Katie Tearle MBE, the Director of New Music at Edition Peters Group, reflects, ‘Gloria was a composer whose unique voice was not universally heard in her lifetime and after hearing a BBC Radio 3 ‘Hear and Now’ broadcast of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra concert in January 2019 of three of her symphonies conducted by Ilan Volkov, I was immediately captivated and curious by her bold and original sound world and delighted to work with my colleagues in Leipzig and New York to bring some of her major works into publication with Edition Peters in 2021.
What Happened To Gloria Coates?
With a heavy heart, Edition Peters Group shares the news of the passing of composer Gloria Coates, who peacefully departed on August 19 after a brief period in the hospital, following a diagnosis of late-stage pancreatic cancer. She was 89 years old.
Mark Swed of the LA Times aptly described her as ‘the most obscure great composer of our time.’ Coates, a prolific artist, left a legacy of 17 symphonies, 10 string quartets, chamber ensembles, solo performances, and vocal compositions, and notably inked a publishing agreement with Edition Peters in May 2021.
Coates masterfully built her musical expressions on a foundation of profound structural clarity, weaving intricate patterns of glissandi and other microtonal nuances. Her artistic journey commenced in Wausau, Wisconsin, USA, where her early years saw her experimenting with overtones and clusters.
Her academic pursuits took her across Chicago, Cooper Union Art School, NYC, and Louisiana (where she earned her Master’s in Composition). At Columbia University, she engaged in postgraduate studies under the guidance of luminaries such as Alexander Tcherepnin, Otto Luening, and Jack Beeson, who played pivotal roles in her artistic maturation.
Gloria openly shared her battle with cancer on August 4 through a poignant Facebook post adorned with a quote that resonates deeply: “May the vibrations of the stars continue in harmony through the rest of eternity and join us into one.” Our sincerest condolences extend to her daughter Alexandra and grandson Alexander, her siblings, friends, and all who knew her.
We extend an invitation to listen to the first movement from her profound fourth symphony, ‘Chiaroscuro,’ where cascading glissandi gradually yield to an extended reimagining of ‘When I am Laid in Earth’ from Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, delivering an impact that is truly profound.
How Did Gloria Coates Die?
We’re saddened to share that composer Gloria Coates passed away at the age of 89 on August 19. She peacefully left us after a short time in the hospital, following a diagnosis of late-stage pancreatic cancer.
Mark Swed, in his reflections for the LA Times, aptly labeled her as ‘the most obscure great composer of our time.’ With an impressive catalog including 17 symphonies, 10 string quartets, chamber music, and solo and vocal pieces, Coates solidified her connection with Edition Peters by signing a publishing agreement in May 2021.
Coates, a master of her craft, meticulously constructed her musical expressions on a foundation of impeccable structural clarity, weaving intricate textures of glissandi and other microtonal effects. Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, USA, her creative journey commenced early as she ventured into experimenting with overtones and clusters.
Her academic pursuits took her through Chicago, Cooper Union Art School, NYC, and Louisiana, where she earned her Master’s in Composition. Further studies in composition at Columbia University under the mentorship of Alexander Tcherepnin, Otto Luening, and Jack Beeson shaped her artistic identity.
From 1969 onward, Coates made Munich, Germany, her primary residence. The Polish Chamber Orchestra introduced her inaugural symphony, “Music on Open Strings,” under the baton of Jerzy Maksymiuk at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1978.
This composition’s significance was further affirmed in 1986 when it emerged as a finalist for the Koussevitzky International Award (KIRA). The milestone arrived in 1980 at Munich’s Musica Viva, as it marked the first orchestral piece by a woman composer ever performed in the festival’s 34-year history.
On August 4, Gloria candidly shared her cancer journey with her circle of friends on Facebook, accompanied by a poignant quote: “May the vibrations of the stars continue in harmony through the rest of eternity and join us into one.” Our deepest sympathies are extended to her daughter Alexandra and grandson Alexander, her siblings, friends, and all whose lives she touched.
Who was Gloria Coates?
Gloria Coates, born on October 10, 1938, and passing away on August 19, 2023, was an American composer who made her home in Munich from 1969 until her recent departure. Her musical style was known for its experimental and diverse nature, often incorporating elements from jazz, rock, and world music.
Originally from Wausau, Wisconsin, Coates pursued musical studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Juilliard School. Following her time at Juilliard, she relocated to New York City, where she immersed herself in various roles as a singer, actress, and composer. Munich became her base in 1969, where she not only composed but also taught at the University of Music and Performing Arts.
Her compositions resonated on a global scale, earning her accolades such as the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Music (2003) and the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition (2006). Being a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences further solidified her impact on the musical realm.
Coates’ music defied conventions with its unconventional harmonies and rhythms, and her distinctive approach encompassed a rich tapestry of textures and tones. The incorporation of jazz, rock, and world music elements marked her work as “avant-garde” and “eclectic.”
Notable works in Coates’ portfolio include the opera “The Rose and the Ring” (1993), the ballet “The Seven Deadly Sins” (1996), and the orchestral masterpiece “Concerto for Orchestra” (1998). Beyond these, her artistic output included chamber compositions, vocal pieces, and even film scores.
On August 19, 2023, Gloria Coates passed away in Munich at the age of 84. She forever changed the landscape of classical music through her groundbreaking compositions, expanding its boundaries and inspiring generations of new composers. Her musical legacy lives on, a testament to her enduring influence in the realm of creativity.
Gloria Coates Career
Gloria Coates was an American composer known for her avant-garde and experimental musical style. She was born in Wisconsin in 1938 and began composing music at a young age. After completing her studies at Louisiana State University, she moved to Europe to further her career as a composer.
Coates spent much of her career living and working in Germany, where she developed a reputation as a leading avant-garde composer. Her music is characterized by its use of unconventional sounds and techniques, including microtonal intervals, extended techniques for instruments, and unconventional vocalizations. She drew inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including nature, mythology, and science fiction.
Coates’ works have been performed by orchestras and ensembles around the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Aaron Copland Award.
Throughout her career, Coates was a strong advocate for the advancement of women in music. She founded the American Women’s Symphony Orchestra and served as the president of the International Alliance for Women in Music.
Coates’ compositions continue to be performed and admired by contemporary musicians and audiences. Her unique approach to composition and her dedication to advancing the role of women in music have left a lasting impact on the world of classical music.
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