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Frank J. Oteri at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003
904 articles on NewMusicBox
Show activity on NewMusicUSA
3 media items

Frank J. Oteri

New York, NY         

Frank J. Oteri is the composer advocate at New Music USA and the editor of NewMusicBox, which has been online since May 1999. An outspoken crusader for new music and the breaking down of barriers between genres, Frank has written for numerous publications and has also been a frequent radio guest and pre-concert speaker. Frank is also the vice president of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and a board member of the International Association of Music Information Centers (IAMIC). Frank holds a B.A. and a M.A. (in Ethnomusicology) from Columbia University where he served as Classical Music Director and World Music Director for WKCR-FM.

Frank’s own musical compositions reconcile structural concepts from minimalism and serialism and frequently explore microtonality. His music has been performed in venues ranging from Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the Theatre Royal in Bath, England to the Knitting Factory, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and PONCHO Concert Hall in Seattle where John Cage first prepared a piano. Among his most widely performed compositions are: Imagined Overtures, a 36-tone rock band piece that has been performed around the country and is the centerpiece of a 2009 CD by the Los Angeles Electric 8; and Last Minute Tango which pianist Guy Livingston has toured around the world and paired with a short film by Thijs Schreuder on his DVD One Minute More. MACHUNAS, a performance oratorio inspired by the life of Fluxus-founder George Maciunas which Oteri created in collaboration with Lucio Pozzi, received its world premiere during the 2005 Christopher Summer Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania; that performance can be streamed in its entirety from the website of the Other Minds Video Archive. Oteri’s most recent works include: Love Games, a setting for girls chorus, harpsichord, and two tambourines of three poems by the Elizabethan sonneteer Mary Wroth which was commissioned and premiered by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City under the direction of Francisco J. Núñez for their Radio Radiance series; (not) knowing the answer, a setting of six sijos by James R. Murphy for unaccompanied vocal ensemble in 13-limit just intonation; and Counting Time in Central City, a setting for unaccompanied SATB chorus of three poems by Charles Passy commissioned by Central City Chorus for their 35th anniversary season, which received its world premiere performance in New York City in June 2016.

Ironically, one of Oteri’s most recent compositions, Dually, is also his oldest. It is based on material from his earliest piece of chamber music which was written after becoming intrigued about instrumental composition due to his high school music teacher, Dr. Lionel “Lee” Chernoff, shortly before turning 15 in 1979. Chernoff died in December 2016 prompting Oteri to re-examine that music which led to a realization that it contained anagrams of Chernoff’s name inspiring a “new” work for alto saxophone and guitar which was performed by the Duo Montagnard (Joseph Murphy and Matthew Slotkin) in the rotunda of Bronx Community College’s Gould Memorial Library on April 26, 2017 and again at the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira, New York on Friday, December 8, 2017 and at the Tenri Cultural Institute in Manhattan on June 21, 2019.

In 2007, Oteri was the recipient of ASCAP’s Victor Herbert Award for his “distinguished service to American music as composer, journalist, editor, broadcaster, impresario, and advocate” and, in January 2018, he received the Composers Now Visionary Award. For more information, visit fjoteri.com.

Articles by Frank J. Oteri:

Conversations November 23 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
Valerie Coleman: Writing Music for People

Valerie Coleman is committed to storytelling through her music, no matter the idiom. “I recognize that there are stories that are yet untold that if they were told, they would...

Conversations June 15 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
NewMusicBox LIVE: New Music Gathering

The concept for New Music Gathering was born in an online forum and now, in our time of physical distancing, it has been reimagined for virtual space.

Headlines May 4 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
Anthony Davis Wins 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Anthony Davis has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera The Central Park Five.

Conversations May 1 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
Third Coast Percussion: The Collaborative Process

David Skidmore, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and Sean Connors of Third Coast Percussion explain how they introduce audiences to percussion instruments, how they each came to devote their lives to...

Conversations April 1 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
Nathalie Joachim: Stepping Into My Own Identity

Nathalie Joachim’s exuberant, forward-looking attitude about music-making and her inspiring comments about how she came to follow her creative path still represent our collective future once we are able to...

Articles March 18 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
How the New Music Community is Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the hopes that this can lead us toward a consensus about what might be best practices for how to deal with this extraordinary and unprecedented situation moving forward, we...

Headlines February 26 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
2020 ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards Announced

The ASCAP Foundation has announced the 20 recipients and 3 honorable mentions of the 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age...

Conversations February 1 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
Molly Joyce: Strength in Vulnerabilty

One of the hallmarks of many different kinds of music performance—whether it’s a classical piano recital, a jazz combo in a club, or an arena rock show—is the demonstration of...

Headlines January 31 2020 | By Frank J. Oteri
2020 Chamber Music Conference Continues Focus on Equity and Inclusivity

In recent years, the annual Chamber Music America conference has placed a specific emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the music sector and has aimed to be a catalyst...