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Frank J. Oteri at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003
903 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:

NewMusicBox December 2 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Lei Liang Wins 2020 Grawemeyer Award for Climate Change-Inspired Piece

Chinese-American composer Lei Liang has won the 2020 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for a Boston Modern Orchestra Project commissioned orchestral work titled A Thousand Mountains, a...

Conversations December 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Bryce Dessner: I’m the Same Musician Wherever I Go

Bryce Dessner has learned different lessons from his immersion into very different kinds of music-making and these lessons have made him a stronger musician, whether he is writing songs and...

Conversations November 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Myra Melford: Freedom and Form

Myra Melford is equally comfortable performing a blues tune, jamming in a completely free-improvisatory setting with other musicians, or exploring more predetermined structures in the compositions she writes for her...

Conversations September 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Lucy Dhegrae: The Art and Science Behind the Voice

Urgency is an important ingredient in everything Lucy Dhegrae does—whether singing music by Eve Beglarian, Joanna Newsom, Jason Eckardt, Gabrielle Herbst, and many others, or curating Resonant Bodies, a three-day...

Conversations August 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Juliana Hall: Pulled Into The Poets’ World

Juliana Hall has given her almost completely undivided attention to composing art songs for over 30 years, and her love for poetry and the voice has only grown stronger.

Conversations July 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Jeffrey Mumford: Creating a Different World

Jeffrey Mumford started off pursuing a career in the visual arts before music took over his imagination, but his lifelong obsession with clouds translated over from painting into musical composition.

Headlines June 21 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Pondering New Digital Distribution Models and the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence—MPA 2019

The 2019 meeting of the Music Publishers Association, which took place last week in New York City, was a combination of reminiscences of the past and planning for the future,...

Conversations June 1 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
Melissa Dunphy: Composing Has To Be a Calling

Melissa Dunphy frequently creates music which is inspired by current events. What is striking about her music is how deeply it relates to her ideas about social justice and inclusivity.

Headlines May 30 2019 | By Frank J. Oteri
A Week of New Music Celebrations: the BMI Student Composer Awards, the Ceremonial & the Underwood...

The close proximity of the BMI Student Composer Awards, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial, and the American Composers Orchestra's Underwood New Music Readings, which have all taken...