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Frank J. Oteri at the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003
860 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 premiered by the Duo Montagnard (Joseph Murphy and Matthew Slotkin) in the rotunda of Bronx Community College’s Gould Memorial Library on April 26, 2017. The Duo will perform the work again at the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira in Elmira, NY on 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." For more information, visit fjoteri.com.


Articles by Frank J. Oteri:

Conversations October 2 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Stefania de Kenessey: 20 Years After Rewriting History

In 1997, composer Stefania de Kenessey launched the Derriere Guard movement to promote a "return to long-forgotten, long-abandoned ideas rooted in history and tradition” but now, 20 years later, she...

Headlines September 13 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Remembering Halim El-Dabh (1921-2017): A Citizen of the “Fourth World”

According to Tommy McCutchon, "'Fourth World Music' has become a dominant sub-genre designation for any music that combines avant-garde electronic processing with a mélange of world music aesthetics." But Halim...

Conversations September 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
George Walker: Concise and Precise

If there’s any quality that distinguishes all of the music of George Walker, who at the age of 95 is still actively composing, it’s its conciseness and preciseness. Walker often...

Conversations August 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Chris Brown: Models are Never Complete

Despite his fascination with extremely dense structures, California-based composer Chris Brown is surprisingly tolerant about loosely interpreting them. Chalk it up to a musical career that has been equally devoted...

Conversations July 1 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Kristin Norderval: Permanent and Impermanent Sonic Moments

Composer/vocalist Kristin Norderval's output has been extraordinarily diverse but addressing societal wrongs is perhaps the one common focus that unites decades of work whether she's improvising vocals and transforming sounds...

Headlines June 16 2017 | By Frank J. Oteri
Future of Publishing and Music Education Debated plus Awards Announced at MPA Annual Meeting

The annual get together of members of the Music Publishers Association of the United States at the Redbury Hotel in New York City combined a luncheon, legal and copyright updates,...

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...