Profile

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.

Oteri is also the Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM), a network founded in 1922 which every year organizes an annual festival of new music in a different city somewhere in the world.  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 has been a frequent pre-concert speaker and conference panel moderator. In 1998, he was hired by the American Music Center to create and oversee a web magazine devoted to contemporary American music. That magazine, NewMusicBox, launched in May 1999 and Oteri served as its editor for nearly a quarter century.  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 Assistant Professor of Musicology at the Mannes School of Music, which is part of the College of Performing Arts at The New School, 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. In 2023, he was elected an Honorary Member of the International Association of Music Centres (IAMIC), a network with which he has been associated since 2000. Learn more at his website: www.fjoteri.com.

Education

M.A. Ethnomusicology | Columbia University
B.A. Music/Literature | Columbia University

Rick Baitz

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Michael Early

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Rob Frankenberry

Residency Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Carla Kihlstedt

Co-Chair, Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Andy Jaffe

Core Faculty, MFA in Music Composition

Roger Zahab

Faculty Co-Chair, MFA in Music Composition