Kenton Coe Critical comments

South’ is a new American opera rather unexpectedly given its world premiere in Southern France… the event and the date is worth noting, because the composer, Kenton Coe… may be heading towards an international career. Judging by this work the stuff is there.”                          

                      Wolfe Kaufmann, Variety


“The Opera of Marseilles has opened with a very great success… The work is remarkable, the spectacle one of complete beauty… This most difficult subject would have frightened many a more experienced composer… Kenton Coe had the courage to risk it and the talent to succeed. Here we have that rare bird, a musician who writes for the voice and not against the voice…His harmonic language is sober, willfully treated in shades of gray so as to leave the expressive role to the singers. And then, at a given point, to evoke a vision or make even more poignant a tragic instant, the orchestra blossoms and delivers a perfume all the more penetrating for its careful preparation. There are moments in this score, so distinguished and so stylistically pure, which touch the heart.”                  


                      Clarendon, Le Figaro


“The world premiere of Kenton Coe’s “Handwriting on the Wall” provided a rousing climax for the Gala concert that was the highlight of the Tennessee Music Teachers’ Association’s twenty-fifth anniversary convention. Its ready appeal, clarity of design, surety of effect, and sensible demands recommend it to many groups.”


                      Louis Nicholas, Musical America


“The Piano Sonata of Kenton Coe… is an interesting, inventive piece of music, basically conservative in idiom but with a distinctive statement of its own.”


                      Joseph McClellan, The Washington Post


“Hymn to Music’ is an effective, gratifying and ultimately stirring score… a major addition to choral literature.”


                      David Bowman, The Montgomery Advertiser


“Celebrating its first decade, Knoxville Opera presented Kenton Coe’s new opera “Rachel”. Opening night proved a civic and social triumph, with the house sold out, the audience responsive, the production nicely conceived, the performance smooth and the orchestra in fine form.”


                      Harold Farewell, Opera News


“Long awaited and eagerly received, Kenton Coe’s poignant opera “Rachel”… brings honor to Tennessee in many ways. A musical work that elicited bravos and bravas… It is a work of high emotional impact… almost unbearably moving… “Rachel” would bring pleasure to audiences anywhere.”


                      Clara Hieronymous, The Nashville Tennessean


“The music of Kenton Coe is a splendor….” (Birds in Peru)


                                      Pierre Murat,  Le Guide cinéma de Télérama

KC, New York 1964