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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:

Conversations February 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Avner Dorman: Point of View, Personal Choice, and Duty

For the Israeli-born American composer Avner Dorman, being true to his own personal artistic point of view has never meant remaining in any particular aesthetic comfort zone. His music is...

Conversations December 20 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Shulamit Ran: Music Has Magical Powers

According to Shulamit Ran, "Music seems to have the capacity to bring time to a standstill. It’s an illusion, but at the same time it’s a miracle."

Headlines December 6 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
2017 Grammy Nominees Announced

The Recording Academy has announced the nominees for its 59th annual Grammy Awards and the list of luminaries includes many people who should be familiar to readers of NewMusicBox

Conversations December 6 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Nicole Mitchell: Endless Possibilities

Composer/flutist Nicole Mitchell’s move to Chicago as a young adult was a transformative experience, and the activities she was engaged in during her years in the Windy City were what...

Conversations November 1 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Michael Torke: Life After the Ceremony of Innocence

Before turning 30, Michael Torke had become a towering figure in the new music community. He was signed by a major publisher, had an exclusive record contract on a major...

Headlines October 18 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Musical America Announces 2017 Honorees

New music is an important focus in the 2017 Musical America awards which have just been announced. Among the awardees are composer Andrew Norman and the new music ensemble Eighth...

Articles October 3 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Why the 21st Century is the Most Exciting Time for Music

Since music from literally any place and time can now be equally with us in the here and now, the once seemingly impenetrable dichotomies of domestic vs. foreign, new vs....

Conversations October 1 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Adam Rudolph: Languages of Rhythm

Making sense of the world we live in seems to be one of the focal points of Adam Rudolph’s life. The way he has chosen to do so is through...

Conversations September 1 2016 | By Frank J. Oteri
Yarn/Wire: From The Ground Level

One of the most exciting as well as one of the most articulate groups of DIY new music interpreters is the two piano/two percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Performing together at the...