Albert Coates (April 23, 1882 – December 11, 1953) was an Anglo-Russian conductor and composer.
Coates was born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, the youngest of seven sons of an English father and a Russian mother.
He studied at the conservatory in Leipzig, where his greatest teacher was Artur Nikisch. He worked for a time at Semperoper Dresden, and became conductor at Saint Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. He escaped with considerable difficulty from Russia in April 1919.
He made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1914 with Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Dynamic in his approach and especially successful in Russian music, he introduced many new works to audiences, including pieces by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Arnold Bax and Alexander Scriabin, and, perhaps most notably, led the first complete London public performance of The Planets by Gustav Holst.
In the 1920s and early 1930s he frequently worked with the London Symphony Orchestra. He made important early contributions to the representation of orchestral music on the gramophone, beginning in 1920 with Scriabin's Poème de l'Extase and afterwards conducting many excerpts from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen and (in 1925) the complete Symphony No. 9 of Beethoven. He was the conductor for the 1930 premiere recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, with Vladimir Horowitz as soloist.
In 1925 he gave the first stage performance outside Russia of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Invisible City of Kitezh.
His compositions include the operas Samuel Pepys and Pickwick, a piano concerto and a symphonic poem The Eagle, dedicated to the memory of his former teacher Artur Nikisch, which was performed in Leeds in 1925. In 1946 he settled in Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa, where he died in 1953.
Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser
1. Overture (Symphony Orchestra 1926)
2. Act 1: Venusberg Bacchanale (Symphony Orchestra and Chorus 1926)
3. Act 1: First Pilgrim's Chorus (Symphony Orchestra and Chorus 1926) with Walter Widdop & Bessie Jones
4. Act 1: Wolfram's Cavatina (New Symphony Orchestra 1930) with Friederich Schorr
5. Act 2: Grand March (Symphony Orchestra and Chorus 1925)
6. Act 2: Wolfram's Contest Song (New Symphony Orchestra 1930) with Friederich Schorr
7. Act 3: Prelude (Symphony Orchestra 1925)
8. Act 3: Pilgrim's Return (Symphony Orchestra 1925) with Edward Halland & Bessie Jones
9. Act 3: Rome Narration (London Symphony Orchestra 1929) with Lauritz Melchior
Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz
10. Act 3: Hermit's Aria (New Symphony Orchestra 1930) with Friederich Schorr
Felix Mendelssohn: Elijah, Op. 70
11. Nos. 21/22: Hear ye Israel, Be not afraid (Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, Melodic Choir) with Johanna Uys (live performance 1952)