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When American composer Gloria Coates arrived in Europe in 1975, she mailed off her Emily Dickinson Songs to the BBC which Dr Hans Keller discovered and chose for production. Her string orchestra work Music on Open Strings was praised in the European press as the 'high point of the 1978 Warsaw Autumn Festival' with its tunings and unusual orchestral colours. It became the first orchestral work by a woman composer in the Munich Musica Viva's 34-year history. Conductor Ilan Volkov located Gloria Coates and performed a concert of three of her symphonies with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2018.

Coates has been Described by Mark Swed of the LA Times as possibly 'the most obscure great composer of our time'. She has written numerous works including 17 symphonies, 10 string quartets, chamber music, solo and vocal music, musique concrète, and the chamber opera Stolen Identity.