Frank J. Oteri is a composer and music journalist based in New York City whose syncretic compositional style, which combines emotional directness with an obsession for formal processes, has been described as “distinctive” in The Grove Dictionary of American Music.

His compositions include: Fair and Balanced, a saxophone quartet in quartertones premiered and recorded by the PRISM Quartet; Imagined Overtures, for rock band in sixth-tones recorded by the Los Angeles Electric 8; Love Games, settings of poems by Elizabethan sonneteer Mary Wroth premiered at SubCulture by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City conducted by Francisco Núñez; and Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow, which was premiered by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra conducted by Delta David Gier in January 2021. MACHUNAS, a performance oratorio inspired by the life of Fluxus-founder George Maciunas which Oteri created in collaboration with Lucio Pozzi, premiered under the direction of Donatas Katkus during the Christopher Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2005. Other interpreters of Oteri’s music include pianists Sarah Cahill and Marianne Parker, harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky, guitarists Dominic Frasca and David Starobin, the Cheah Chan Duo, the Ray-Kallay Duo, Pentasonic Winds, Sylvan Winds, the Del Sol String Quartet, the Magellan String Quartet, the Locrian Chamber Players, and Central City Chorus.

In addition to his composing activities, Oteri is the Composer Advocate at New Music USA and Editor of its online magazine, NewMusicBox, as well as Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and a member of the board of directors of the International Association of Music Centres (IAMIC).  In demand as a freelance journalist and annotator, Oteri has written for BBC MusicChamber Music, and Symphony magazines, as well as numerous other publications, and is a frequent pre-concert speaker and conference panel moderator. A graduate of New York City’s LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts (subject of the motion picture Fame, in which he has a cameo) and Columbia University (where he ran WKCR’s classical music and world music departments), Oteri is a committed educator who has taught in New York City public high schools, was recently appointed to the faculty of the Mannes School of Music at New School University, and has been a part of the Vermont College of Fine Arts graduate program in Music Composition community since 2016. Oteri received the 2007 Victor Herbert Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the 2018 Composers Now Visionary Award, and the 2021 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Broadcast/Media Award. Learn more at his website:

Rick Baitz

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Rob Frankenberry

Residency Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Carla Kihlstedt

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Lisa Mezzacappa

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

John Fitz Rogers

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Trudy Chan

Residency Faculty