Wisconsin native Gloria Coates, a ‘maverick’ of classical …


In 2000, Gloria Coates visited Wausau West High School to talk about her career in musical composition. She's helping fresman Jessica Steinmetz with a piece.

Wausau native Gloria Coates, a prolific classical music composer who wrote unorthodox and dynamic symphonies, died Aug. 19 in Munich, Germany. She was 89.

She was diagnosed with an inoperable form of pancreatic cancer early this summer. She sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and entered hospice there, said her daughter, Alexandra Coates. But Gloria Coates decided that she wanted to return to Munich for the end of her life, a city in which she lived and created in since 1969.

A 1951 graduate of Wausau High School, Gloria Coates began writing critically acclaimed music when she was a teenager.

“I had been awarded a superior rating for a composition while in high school for the National Federation of Music Clubs around 1950,” she told the Wausau Daily Herald in 2021. The story came out after classical music publisher Edition Peters said it would publish dozens of her works.

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