GLORIA COATES (b 1938 )
Gloria Coates, born in Wausau, Wisconsin, began composing and experimenting with overtones and clusters at age nine. Both Alexander Tcherepnin and Otto Luening were important mentors. Her formal studies took her from Chicago and Louisiana (with a Master’s Degree in Composition), to New York’s Cooper Union Art School, and Columbia University.
Living primarily in Europe since 1969, Gloria Coates has promoted American music: a German-American Music Series (1971–1984), writing musicological articles, and broadcasts for WDR Cologne, and Radio Bremen. From 1975 to 1983 she taught for the University of Wisconsin’s International Programs, initiating the first music programs in London and Munich. She has lectured on her music in India, Poland, Germany, Ireland, and England; and at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Boston, and Wisconsin-Madison.
The 1978 Warsaw Autumn Festival premiere of Music on Open Strings (Symphony No. 1) (1973), was the most discussed work at the festival. In 1986 it was a finalist for the Koussevitzky International Recording Award (KIRA), and at Munich’s Musica Viva in 1980, it was the first work by a woman composer to be performed in the series’ 34-year history.
Festivals at which her compositions have been performed include March Music (Berlin), New Music America (New York), Crash (Dublin), Other Minds (San Francisco), the Dresden Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Avanti (Finland), the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte (Montepulciano), and Aspekte Salzburg. Artists include the Kronos, Kreutzer, and Jack Quartets; orchestras include the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Vienna Radio Symphony, the City of London Sinfonia, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Polish Chamber Orchestra.
Gloria Coates has written many orchestral works, some with chorus, which include 16 symphonies (the highest number of symphonies ever written by a woman composer), ten string quartets, chamber music, solo and vocal music, electronic musique concrète, and the opera Stolen Identity.