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Eric Coates

Respectfully known as the "king of light music,"Eric Coates was one of England's greatest composers. A prolific writer, Coates wrote pieces for orchestras, chamber groups, and solo pianists. In addition to penning more than 160 ballads, he composed numerous instrumental settings for the poetry of William Shakespeare and other British poets. His many radio themes included the theme of the popular BBC radio show Calling All Workers, which aired four times a day, five days a week. Coates made his orchestral debut in 1911 when his composition "Miniature Suite" was performed by the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra under the direction of Sir Henry Wood. Coates played viola with the orchestra during the premiere. Although he wrote his most enduring tune, "Stonecracker John," in 1909, Coates enjoyed a revival of his popularity in the late '20s when his songs "Birdsongs at Eventide" and "Homeward to You" became major hits. He remained active until shortly before his death in 1957, composing "The Dam Busters March" and "High Flight" for popular early-'50s films. Coates' long career is recalled in an autobiography, Suite in Four Movements, and a biography, In Town Tonight, written by Geoffrey Self. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Music of Eric Coates

1. London Suite No. 1: Covent Garden

2. London Suite No. 2: Westminster

3. London Suite No. 3: Knightsbridge

4. The Three Elizabeths Suite No. 1: Halcyon Days

5. The Three Elizabeths Suite No. 2: Springtime in Angus: (Elizabeth of Glamis – the Queen Mother)

6. The Three Elizabeths Suite No. 3: Youth of Britain (The Princess Elizabeth)

7. Four Centuries Suite No. 1: Prelude and Hornpipe

8. Four Centuries Suite No. 2: Pavane and Tambourin

9. Four Centuries Suite No. 3: Valse

10. Four Centuries Suite No. 4: Rhythm

11. London Again Suite No. 1: Oxford Street

12. London Again Suite No. 2: Langham Place

13. London Again Suite No. 3: Mayfair

14. High Flight

15. Impression of a Princess

16. Wood Nymphs

17. South Wales and West

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