Mike Coates guitarist & producer

Guitarist Mike Coates has an impressively vast and varied professional career. Currently professor of classical guitar at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and formerly professor of Guitar and Audio Production at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Mike Coates is now an independent record producer and solo performer, A master of both the classical and electric guitar and a sought-after teacher, his decades of experience as a classical guitarist, international touring rock guitarist, audio producer/engineer and acclaimed guitar teacher are revealed both in the musical mastery of his playing and the technical artistry of his recordings. In addition to three CD recordings with flutist Debora Harris as the Harris-Coates Duo, Mr. Coates's personal discography includes four CD releases with vocalist Linda Coates, an album of Spanish and South American song with tenor Ricardo Visus, and three art-rock albums with his 1970s bands WhiteWing and ASIA (all three of which are now internationally sought-after collectors' items) in which his fusion of Liszt-inspired electric guitar pyrotechnics with classical compositional style created a singular, powerful bridge between two musical worlds.

The pop music renaissance of the late 1960s also inspired Mike to pursue his passion for the classical guitar under his own tutelage -- a la maestro Andres Segovia. He communed regularly with other members of a spiritual/guitar society who freely exchanged ideas their leader brought back from master classes with Pepe and Angel Romero, Christopher Parkening and Michael Lorimer. During his years on the road, Mike worked in solitude and fierce determination -- at times for twenty hours a day -- mastering classical technique and conquering traditional repertoire. When he finally retired from the commercial music scene in the early 1980s he enrolled at Minnesota State University Moorhead to pursue a degree in music. In less than a year's time he was hired as the music department's guitar instructor to develop MSU's burgeoning music industry program. Over the next ten years he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in music, was promoted to Assistant Professor of Music, taught more than 500 guitar students (both electric and classical), self-published a 230-page rock guitar instruction book, coached 100 guitar ensembles, staged nine major performances for the university (which were broadcast on public television), launched the audio production program for MSU, supervised all department recital and performance recordings, and performed regularly with many faculty colleagues -- including his eventual duo partner, Debora Harris. During his graduate studies, Mike commuted regularly to the University of Minnesota so study guitar with respected teacher and performer, Jeffrey Van. In 1995 Mike left academia to pursue a unique independent business opportunity and, with his wife Linda, launched Raptor Recording Studios and Barking Dog Records.

In addition to performing and recording, Mike has transcribed and/or arranged many works for classical guitar. His transcription process includes exhaustive musicological research of the original scores in an effort to provide a playable transcription as true to the original composition as possible. Works recently prepared for recording and performance cover a wide musical spectrum, from Debussy piano preludes arranged for flute and guitar duo (Dances in the Madhouse CD) to Schubert art song arranged for voice and guitar (Fall in Love CD). Published version of several of Mike's transcriptions and arrangements are now available on this site.


Classical guitar discography -


Harris-Coates Duo - Buy Harris-Coates Duo CDs online at Fargostuff.com

The White Peacock (2002)
Dances in the Madhouse (2000)

Reverie (1997)


Mike & Linda Coates - Buy Mike & Linda Coates CDs online at Fargostuff.com

The Summer Air (1998)
Fall in Love (1997)
An Early Spring (1996)
Winter's Night (1995)


Mike Coates - Additional

Ricardo Visus - A Collection of Spanish & South American Songs with Mike Coates, guitar (1994)


Rock discography

ASIA-Armed to the Teeth



Chase the Dragon - 230-page lead electric guitar instruction book with 3 companion CDs

Classical Guitar Repertoire - Classical guitar solo and guitar-flute duo transcriptions and arrangements by Mike Coates

The Harris-Coates Duo

From featured invitational performances--at such events as the 1998 National Flute Convention in Phoenix and the 1999 College Music Society Convention in Denver--to compact disc recordings, intimate recitals, and master classes, the past ten years have seen the Harris-Coates Duo amaze audiences with their sheer beauty of sound, technical virtuosity, and effortless ensemble. Visit the Harris-Coates Duo home page for information on CD releases, performances, touring calendar and more.





Mike & Linda Coates and friends


Mike and Linda Coates are an accomplished musical team. As performers, recording artists, teachers and composers they combine their classical training together with decades of experience as professional musicians in the popular music world. In 1995 Mike and Linda built a recording studio and launched their own record label--Raptor Studios and Barking Dog Records--to bring their unique blend of classical and pop music to 90s audiences hungry for a new music and aesthetic, and to assist talented local artists of every genre to realize their musical dreams and launch their careers.

Go to Mike and Linda's page for more information about their four seasonal CD releases which offer a lovely blend of classical guitar, pop & classical ballads, lush vocals, delicate acoustic orchestration and a variety of vocal and musical styles.