Hilary Coates is one of the most sought-after piano teachers in Britain. She teaches talented and motivated students at secondary and tertiary levels, and is currently a Professor of Piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London and a specialist teacher of piano at Wells Cathedral School, as well as having a limited number of private students. She is frequently invited to give master classes at music institutions around the world.
Hilary had a distinguished career as a soloist and chamber musician before the wish to spend time with her family necessitated a decision to prioritise her musical activities in teaching.
She made her professional debut at the age of nineteen performing the Grieg Concerto in the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank. She gained a scholarship, aged 16, to the Royal Academy of Music, where she won many awards, including the Recital Diploma, the RAM’s top examinable award. She then continued her studies with Ilona Kabos and Maria Curcio.
Hilary was a prizewinner in the Alfredo Casella International Piano Competition in Naples and in the BBC Competition in Manchester, and was given the ‘Young Musician of the Year’ Award by the Greater London Arts Association.
She made extensive concert appearances as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber music player in Britain as well as frequent performances on radio and television. Overseas concert tours included France, Italy, South America and Germany.
Her conservatoire teaching career began at the Guildhall School of Music, London, and is now equally divided between Trinity Laban and her long-standing work at Wells with some of the most talented young specialist pianists in the UK. Her students have had outstanding successes and have been outright winners in both the main British Competitions for young pianists. (The Audi Competition and BBC Young Musician of the Year.)
In recent years her work has again taken on an international dimension and she has given master classes at conservatoires in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Australia and Ireland, and at the Cliburn Institute in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at various venues in the UK for the Yamaha Music Foundation.
Hilary has accepted invitations to judge international competitions in France and Ireland. She has been granted the honorary title, Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.