College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Peter Yates

Peter Yates

Peter Yates MFA DMA

(310) 836-4687

Peter Yates Music on YouTube

Contact Information:

Faculty Office Telephone: (909) 869-3560
Music Department Office: (909) 869-3548
Fax #: (909) 869-4145


Music Theory, Guitar Ensemble


Peter Yates is a performer, composer, educator and multi-media artist. His work as a guitarist and chamber musician includes sixteen European tours with the Elgart/Yates Guitar Duo (, and continues with the voice/guitar duo GuitAria (, and ensembleFRET

These groups have emphasized new and original composition, and have premiered over a hundred works, including many of his own. He also directs the UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona Guitar Ensembles in six concerts each season. 

Performances have been hosted by the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam, the American Academy in Rome, the Paris Swiss Helvetica Center, the Holywell Room in Oxford, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the El Camino Guitar Festival, the Dominguez Hills Guitar Festival, La Guitarra California, the Los Angeles Guitar Festival, San Miguel de Allende Guitar Festival, Composers INC, NACUSA, Meet the Composer, The Festival of American Music, the Ussachevsky Festival, the Unsung Summer Series, the Efflorescence Series, the CSU Summer Arts Festival, microfest, the New York Guitar Festival, and the UCLA Chancellor's Residence Series. 

Yates has also given concerts on the arpeggione, a bowed guitar, throughout the state, at the Los Angeles Guitar Festival and the UCLA Powell Library Rotunda Series ( As an arpeggionist, he is featured in the recent British documentary film Did You Say Bowed Guitar?

He was music director, commissioner and producer for the ballet Sleep by central-coast composer Garry Eister, and has written microtonal music presented as part of microfest and the New York Guitar Festival. He has collaborated with composers and performers such as David Starobin, Marco Cappelli, Neal Stulberg, Movses Pogossian, Tom Flaherty, Cynthia Fogg, John Schneider, Juliana Gondek, Matthew Elgart, Alan Berman, Garry Eister, Jonathon Grasse, David Tannenbaum, Eric Pham, Marc Kaplan, Nadia Shpachenko, Alexandra Grabarchuk, the London Royal Ballet and national accordion champion Jenny Amaya.

Yates' compositions include a growing repertoire of music for voice and guitar (with and without additional instruments), and multimedia (

He shoots, directs and produces music videos (youtube/peterfyates). Radio Rodia, his chamber opera about the Watts Towers has been performed at the Living Arts Festival in Tulsa, at North Texas State University, the NOW Festival, Manual Arts Thieater, the Downtown Center in Pomona, Pomona College and at UCLA (

His DVD ghost-town opera The Mother Lode, in which period photographs of hardrock mining come to life and sing, has been screened at the Echo Park Film Center, UCLA, and all over the world (

An example of his work in film and film scoring can be found at: Duplicate the Error

In this film, the score is for prepared guitar, something he pioneered and co-wrote a book about. (Prepared Guitar Techniques

He has been interviewed on Italian State Radio (RAI), Mexican State Radio and regularly on KPFK. He has been invited to lecture to the National Association of Composers and Arrangers, as well as to present at the Composers Salon. He is a rare freethinker to have been celebrated as a local hero by the International Festival of Sacred Music. Yates has received the Distinguished Teaching Award at Cal Poly Pomona, and former students now work as film composers, video game composers (Nintendo, Digipen), art-music composers and performers such as the Los Angeles Electric 8 ( and Eric Pham (

He is on the faculties of music at Cal Poly Pomona and UCLA.