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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
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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:

Articles January 1 2000 | By Frank J. Oteri
Does The Place Make The Space? Clubs, Recordings and Audiences and Their Impact on Jazz

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard On special occasions I take people on tours of historic bars in New York City. The rule is that we won’t go into a...

Articles December 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
Education and New American Music

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard Ten years ago I was a high school teacher in the New York City Public School System and since then, I have often described...

Headlines December 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
Soundtracks: December 1999

Traditionally, December is a slim month for new releases. Most record companies and distributors view December as a time to catch up and to make one valiant final effort for...

Conversations November 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
A “Virtual Séance” with the Founders of the American Music Center

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the American Music Center, the history of the AMC is here presented exclusively in the words of its six founders--Aaron...

Articles November 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
The 60th Anniversary of the American Music Center

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard November is an important month here at the American Music Center. Sixty years ago this month, the dreams of Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Otto...

Articles November 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
Soundtracks: November 1999

There are over 60 American composers featured in this month’s round-up of new recordings, which is a wonderful way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the American Music Center this...

Conversations October 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
Tod Machover: Technology and the Future of New Music

Tod Machover shares some of the extraordinary new musical interfaces he has been creating at the MIT Media Lab and explains how and why these new technologies will redefine music...

Conversations September 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
The Philadelphia Orchestra at 100

To celebrate The Philadelphia Orchestra's centenary on November 16, 2000, the artistic and management team of the orchestra decided to devote their entire 2000-2001 concert season exclusively to music composed...

Articles September 1 1999 | By Frank J. Oteri
The Orchestra in Contemporary American Musical Life

Frank J. OteriPhoto by Melissa Richard Is the orchestra a viable contemporary American institution? That’s a question that’s been on a lot of people’s minds both within and outside the...