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Frank J. Oteri at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003
872 articles on NewMusicBox
Show activity on NewMusicUSA
1 media item

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:

Headlines June 14 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Composer Advocacy Notebook: Staying Focused on Next

Classical:NEXT has the potential to be the most viable international gathering place for open-minded music-focused people, despite its name.

Conversations June 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Sky Macklay: Why I Love Weird Contemporary Music

Sky Macklay is a highly conceptual composer who typically gets a flash of inspiration for a concept before she writes a single note. Sometimes it's politically charged, like her Black...

Headlines May 16 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
5 Female Composers Among 9 Winners of 2017 BMI Student Composer Awards

For the first time in the BMI Student Composer Awards' 65 year history, a majority of the winners (5 of the 9) are female composers. In addition, Lara Poe, is...

Conversations May 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Béla Fleck: Things That Sound Right

Since becoming a professional musician as a teenager in the late 1970s, Béla Fleck has redefined jazz and newgrass (a harmonically and rhythmically progressive off-shoot from bluegrass), collaborated with traditional...

Headlines April 10 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Du Yun Awarded 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music

Angel's Bone by Du Yun has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Conversations April 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Martha Mooke: Walls, Windows, and Doors

In any given week, Martha Mooke could be performing a solo concert on her electric five-string viola, playing in a symphony or Broadway pit orchestra, touring either with a famous...

Headlines March 30 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
ASCAP Announces 2017 Morton Gould Young Composer Award Recipients

Details for the 19 winners of the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and, wherever possible, complete recordings of the award winning musical compositions.

Conversations March 15 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Greg Lewis (a.k.a. Organ Monk): Music is a Weapon

Greg Lewis (a.k.a. Organ Monk) has been drawn to jazz specifically because it has been such a socially conscious music. His third album features five pieces he created in memory...

Conversations March 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Mike Johnson: Thinking Plague

To realize Mike Johnson’s musical conceptions, the musicians in his band Thinking Plague—like members of a contemporary music ensemble—read from fully notated scores. Because of its instrumentation and volume, it...