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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 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...

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