Papers of a music critic, author, teacher, and poet, who championed modern avant-garde music, presented a series of chamber
concerts in Los Angeles called "Evenings on the Roof," and headed the music department at Buffalo State University. The materials
consist largely of correspondence and drafts of original writings. Included among the correspondence are letters from many
key figures in 20th century music, including composers John Cage, Lou Harrison, Charles Ives, Ernst Krenek, Harry Partch,
Roger Reynolds, Arnold Schoenberg, Virgil Thomson, pianist John Kirkpatrick, and poets Ronald Johnson, Marianne Moore, Lorine
Niedecker, Kenneth Patchen, Kenneth Rexroth, Carl Sandburg, and Karl Shapiro. Original writings included drafts of articles,
plays, poetry, drama, and books, including Yates' two major works An Amateur at the Keyboard (1964) and Twentieth Century
Music (1967). Also included in the collection are copies of scores by composers Charles Ives, Lou Harrison, Ingolf Dahl,
and typescripts of poems by Peyton Houston.
Peter B. Yates, music critic, author, teacher, and poet, was born in Toronto on November 30, 1909. His parents were U.S.
citizens, and he attended Ridley and Union colleges in New York State. He received his B.A. from Princeton University in
1931. In 1933 Yates married the pianist Frances Mullen. After migrating to the West Coast, Yates went to work for the California
Department of Employment in Los Angeles in 1937. He stayed with the agency as an employment counselor until 1962.