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Frank J. Oteri at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003
885 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 also serves on the Executive Commmittee of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and chairs the Communication Committee 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 that can be streamed from the website of NPR. 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, Oteri’s most recent composition, 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.

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 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...

Conversations July 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Daria Semegen: So Many Awareness Pixels Going On at the Same Time

Daria Semegen's compositional output consists of fixed media and performed works as well as pieces that combine both, often including improvisation. Her electronic music studio at Stony Brook University, where...

Headlines June 15 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
2018 Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence Announced

The 2018 Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence were announced during the annual meeting of the Music Publishers Association at The Redbury in New York City.

Conversations June 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Andy Akiho: Inside The Instrument

Having a conversation with Andy Akiho is a lot like listening to his music; it’s a high energy adventure bursting with ideas and full of all sorts of serendipitous synchronicities.

Headlines May 14 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Nine Composers Receive 2018 BMI Student Composer Awards

Nine composers have received 2018 BMI Student Composer Awards plus there was one additional honorable mention.

Articles May 9 2018 | By Noah K and Rosie K
Notes from Underground: Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s Manual of Quarter-Tone Harmony

Ivan Wyschnegradsky's 1932 Manual of Quarter-Tone Harmony rewrites the past for the future. But the 24-note equal-tempered octave is not an end, but a beginning.

Conversations May 1 2018 | By Frank J. Oteri
Beth Anderson: Just Dropping In

Beth Anderson has embraced serendipity and followed it both in her life and in her music. In this sprawling conversation, Anderson tells us about some major early epiphanies—as well as...