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Frank J. Oteri at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003
891 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 co-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 March 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Bright Sheng: My Father’s Letter and Bernstein’s Question

Bright Sheng is concerned about directly moving audiences in whatever format or style he is working in and is passionate about sharing what led him to his aesthetic positions.

Headlines February 11 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
The Grammys You Care About Will Not All Be Televised

The Recording Academy handed out many other awards yesterday aside from the ones featured in the televised presentations during last night’s 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. Here are some of...

Conversations February 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Ellen Reid: More Than Sound

Ellen Reid’s instinctive team spirit, as well as her awareness that sound always exists alongside other sensory stimuli, informs all the music she creates, whether it’s the score for the...

Conversations January 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Roberto Sierra: Globalizing Local Experiences

Composer Roberto Sierra frequently likes to tell the story of how, when he was growing up in Puerto Rico, he would hear Pablo Casals playing his cello on television while...

Conversations December 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Jeanine Tesori: Holding Center Stage

Every project that Jeanine Tesori has worked on—whether it's a musical, an opera, incidental music for a play, or a soundtrack for a motion picture or an animated film—has a...

Conversations November 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Bun-Ching Lam: Home is Where You Park Your Suitcase

Born in Macau, educated in Hong Kong and California, and now dividing her time between Paris and Upstate New York, Bun-Ching Lam creates music that is shaped by her multicultural...

Conversations October 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
George Tsontakis: Getting Out of My Introvertism

Although George Tsontakis has had a career that most American composers would envy, he aspires to a hermetic existence in the middle of the woods and composes something only when...

Conversations September 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Jane Ira Bloom: Valuing Choices Made in the Moment  

Jane Ira Bloom clearly maneuvers within a genre while at the same time subverting any attempt at making generalizations about her work. The primary mode of music-making she engages in...

Conversations August 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Randy Weston: Music is Life Itself

It has been more than three quarters of a century since the bebop revolution transformed how people made music together. So it is not surprising that so few musicians who...