Stephen Bates graduated from the Mannes College of Music (BS, 1967) and Catholic University (DMA, 1974). He studied clarinet with Leon Russianoff and Harold Wright.
His first professional job was with the President’s Own U. S. Marine Band which performed at the White House during the terms of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
He joined the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (Washington, D.C.) in 1973, where he played clarinet and held the bass clarinet chair for 36 years. While with the Opera House, he played in productions of 70 different operas and performed for most of the world’s ballet companies.
In Washington, Bates helped form the Contemporary Music Forum and the National Chamber Orchestra, in which he played principal clarinet. He was also a member of the National Gallery Orchestra.
Along with music, he has pursued painting and had many art exhibits in Washington. After retiring from the Kennedy Center, Bates has been teaching silk painting in Gloucester, playing in chamber music
concerts, and has brought together the players comprising the Stephen Bates Quartet.