Oliver Coates is a cellist, composer and producer based in London. In the past year he has performed solo shows in China, Russia, Brazil, Egypt and Australia, and made his New York debut at Le Poisson Rouge. He was the first cellist to be awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award, in 2011, following previous winners including Gustavo Dudamel and Colin Currie, and is an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2009 playing Britten, Rachmaninoff and Beethoven with Danny Driver, and has performed in a cello-piano recital partnership with Driver for 16 years. In the last few seasons, he has performed concertos with Britten Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Neojiba Youth Orchestra of Bahia in Brazil, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra and London Contemporary Orchestra. He has played as principal cello with Aurora Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Contemporary Orchestra, and currently devotes all of his time to solo and chamber music, and to writing all kinds of music.
He has released records on Prah Recordings and Slip, and collaborates with Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead (on The Master and There Will Be Blood), Mica Levi (on Under the Skin) and the visual artist Lawrence Lek (on the award-winning video piece Unreal Estate). With Lek, he presented the world premiere of a new work, QE3, at the Glasgow International festival in April. His new LP, Upstepping, came out on Prah in May 2016, he programmed the Southbank Centre’s DEEP∞MINIMALISM festival and released a collaborative record with Mica Levi on Slip/Warp.
His playing has been described as “world class” (The Guardian), “virtuosity in the extreme” (Seen & Heard), “remarkable ... reminiscent of a young Tortelier or Rostropovich” (broadcaster Henry Kelly) and “mind-blowing ... masterly in every way” (composer Anthony Gilbert).