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The Leonard Burkat Papers

Call Number: MSS 25

Scope and Contents

The Leonard Burkat Papers consist primarily of correspondence written to Burkat by composers, conductors, musical performers, and writers. The Papers also contain manuscript corrections from Lukas Foss regarding his Oboe concerto and from William Walton regarding his Cello concerto. Photographs are also included in the Papers.


  • 1943-1981 (inclusive)


Language of Materials

Materials chiefly in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Papers are open to researchers by appointment. There are no restricted materials in the collection. Please contact the Special Collections staff to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Leonard Burkat Papers are the physical property of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library of Yale University. Copyrights belong to the composers and authors, or their legal heirs and assigns.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Leonard Burkat Papers were established in the Music Library of Yale University by Burkat in 1979.


In four series as follows: I. Correspondence. II. Music. III. Photographs. IV. Original Register.


3 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, music, and photographs by and about the American music librarian, critic, music administrator, recording executive, and program annotator Leonard Burkat (1919-1992)

Biographical / Historical

Leonard Burkat was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 20 or 21, 1919. As a boy, he attended the Boston Latin School and played saxophone and oboe. Later he took courses at Boston University, Harvard University, and the Columbia University School of Library Science. Burkat had several careers in music. He wrote music criticism for the Boston Globe and the Boston Evening Transcript. He worked as a music librarian at the Boston Public Library, and then, beginning in 1946, for the Berkshire Music Center and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; eventually he became the Orchestra's artistic administrator. In 1963, Burkat joined Columbia Records; by the time of his retirement in 1973, he was a vice-president. In his later years, he established the Leonard Burkat Program Note Service; he wrote program notes for thousands of works, and they were used by hundreds of prominent orchestras and soloists. Leonard Burkat died in Danbury, Connecticut on August 25, 1992.

The Leonard Burkat Papers
Edited Full Draft
Compiled by Curtis Nelson and Adrienne Nesnow
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Music Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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