NewMusicBox, a multimedia publication from New Music USA, is dedicated to the music of American composers and improvisers and their champions.
NewMusicBox offers: in-depth profiles, articles, and discussions; up-to-the-minute industry news and commentary; a direct portal to our internet radio station, Counterstream; and access to an online library of more than 57,000 works by more than 6,000 composers.
Building on the energy derived from the music itself, NewMusicBox invigorates and gives voice to a global online community dedicated to this ever-evolving music while bringing it to the attention of the world at large.
Frank J. Oteri is the composer advocate at New Music USA and the founding editor of its web magazine NewMusicBox, which has been online since May of 1999. An outspoken crusader for new music and the breaking down of barriers between genres, Frank has written for publications including BBC Music, Chamber Music, Ear Magazine, Stagebill/Playbill, Symphony, Time Out New York and the Revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, has been a frequent radio and pre-concert speaker, and has served as the host for ASCAP’s Thru The Walls showcase, Meet The Composer’s The Works in Minneapolis, and his own 21st Century Schizoid Music series at the Cornelia Street Café. As part of his work as Composer Advocate, Oteri is also a member of the Cultural Exchange Working Group coordinated by the Performing Arts Alliance and co-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, which reconcile structural concepts from minimalism and serialism and frequently explore microtonality, span operas and chamber music, solo keyboard works and original bluegrass/old-timey songs for his band The String Messengers. His music has been programmed in venues ranging from Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art and the Theatre Royal in Bath, England to Galapagos, the Knitting Factory, the Sidewalk Café and the Bethlehem Musikfest (PA) to PONCHO Concert Hall in Seattle where John Cage first prepared a piano. Interpreters of his music include sopranos Gilda Lyons and Cybele Paschke, male soprano/baritone Phillip Cheah, tenors Rob Frankenberry and Harlan DeBell, keyboardists Sarah Cahill, Trudy Chan, Elaine Funaro, Robert Heath, Jenny Lin, Rebecca Pechefsky, and Marvin Rosen, guitarists Dominic Frasca and David Starobin, saxophonist Brian Sacawa, the Magellan String Quartet, Sylvan Winds, Pentasonic Winds, the rock band Capital M, and the Locrian Chamber Players, among others. Oteri’s Last Minute Tango appears on Guy Livingston’s DVD, One Minute More, his 1/4-tone saxophone quartet Fair and Balanced? has been released on the PRISM Quartet’s latest CD, Dedication, and his 36-tone rock suite is the title track for the Los Angeles Electric 8′s most recent disc Imagined Overtures. Additionally, his Just Salsa, performed by a Latin band in 11-limit just intonation, has been recorded on the American Festival of Microtonal Music’s PITCH series. MACHUNAS, Oteri’s “performance oratorio in four colors” based on the life of Fluxus-founder George Maciunas created in collaboration with painter/performance artist Lucio Pozzi, was staged at the Contemporary Arts Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania as part of the International Christopher Summer Festival in a production conducted by Donatas Katkus (August 20-21, 2005). 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.
Molly Sheridan is a writer, editor, and producer specializing in classical and experimental music, with a focus on multimedia content designed for the web. A winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award for music journalism, she is the executive editor of NewMusicBox and Counterstream Radio, both programs of New Music USA.
She hosted Carnegie Hall’s Sound Insights podcast series and her writing has appeared in publications such as TimeOut, The Washington Post, Serious Eats, and on her ArtsJournal blog, Mind the Gap. Prior to joining the media staff, Sheridan worked for the American Symphony Orchestra League, where she was associate editor of Symphony magazine and the League’s webmaster. She attended the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University, earning a bachelor’s in journalism with a specialization in violin performance and French in 1999.
She currently divides her time between New York City and Baltimore, where she lives with her husband, the saxophonist Brian Sacawa, and cooks for Wonderland Kitchen.
Alexandra Gardner is the associate editor for NewMusicBox.org and technical producer CounterstreamRadio.org. An active audio producer and engineer, she has provided production, consulting and training services for organizations and individuals, and most recently worked for National Public Radio, on programs such as All Things Considered and Performance Today.
Alex’s compositions have been featured at festivals and venues around the world, including performances at the Aspen Music Festival, Warsaw Autumn Festival, MATA Festival of New Music, Centro de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, CrossSound Music Festival, Look and Listen Festival, Conservatory of Amsterdam, Beijing Modern Festival, Mobtown Modern, The Library of Congress, and The Kennedy Center. Her music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and musicians such as Seattle Symphony, Percussions de Barcelona, Chicago Composers Orchestra, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, bass clarinetist Harry Sparnaay, cellist Joshua Roman, and pianist Jenny Lin. She has been a composer-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and The MacDowell Colony. Her most recent CD entitled Luminoso is released by Innova Recordings. Alexandra attended the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University (M.M.) and Vassar College (B.A.).
For more information, visit alexandragardner.net.
Andrew Sigler, Austin, Texas
Andrew Sigler is a composer and guitarist. His concert music includes music for chamber ensembles, orchestra, dance, theater, and film and has been performed by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. His work in the commercial field includes studio work as a guitarist and vocalist as well as composition and sound design for video games, advertising, and animation for a number of clients including Microsoft. Andrew is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit andrewsigler.com.
Matthew Guerrieri, Boston, Massachusetts
Despite astronautical ambitions, Matthew Guerrieri drifted into a musical career on a tide of childhood piano lessons. He holds degrees in composition from DePaul and Boston Universities, and was a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center. At various times, he has worked as a stagehand, a bicycle patrol officer, a secretary, a music copyist, a vocal coach, a cocktail pianist, and an ice cream vendor. Nowadays, he regularly reviews music for the Boston Globe, and his articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, Playbill, Musical America, and Slate magazines. He is also answerable for the classical music weblog Soho the Dog. He is director of music for the Presbyterian Church in Sudbury, and on the faculty of the Handel and Haydn Society’s Vocal Apprenticeship Program.
Ellen McSweeney, Chicago, Illinois
Ellen McSweeney is a Chicago-based musician and writer. She is the founding violinist of Chicago Q Ensemble, a string quartet dedicated to new music, interdisciplinary collaboration, and innovative programming. As a chamber musician, Ellen has also been heard with ensemble dal niente, Access Contemporary Music, Singers on New Ground, New Millennium Orchestra, and New Music DePaul, among others. Ellen holds a B.M. from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and an M.M. from DePaul University. She is a winner of Vanderbilt’s Merrill Moore Award for Poetry Writing and the Vanderbilt Review prize for Best Fiction. Her indie folk duo, Elk, will release their debut EP this winter.
Isaac Schankler, Los Angeles, California
Isaac Schankler is a composer, pianist, accordionist, and electronic musician living in Los Angeles. His music is inspired by improvisation, indeterminacy, language, narrative, and puzzles. His recent commissions include works for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Lorelei Ensemble, Juventas New Music Ensemble, pianist Aron Kallay, and violinist Andrew Tholl. As a composer for collaborative works, Schankler has worked with writers, video game designers, video artists, and computer scientists. As a writer, he has won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism. Schankler is artistic director of People Inside Electronics, a concert series for live electroacoustic music. He holds degrees in composition from the University of Southern California (DMA) and the University of Michigan (MM, BM). He currently teaches at the University of Southern California and Chapman University.
About New Music USA
New Music USA was officially created on November 8, 2011, as the result of the merger between the American Music Center and Meet The Composer. Its mission to increase opportunities for composers, performers, and audiences is advanced through two basic kinds of activity: Support and Promotion. By providing financial and other support, it enables composers and other musical artists to create the new work that is the beating heart of our musical culture. Through its strong and evolving new media dimensions, it seeks to bring more attention to the field and engage a broad audience of potential listeners.
New Music USA is designed to build upon the combined and interconnected strengths of AMC and MTC. AMC, founded in 1939 by composers Marion Bauer, Aaron Copland, Howard Hanson, Harrison Kerr, Otto Luening, and Quincy Porter, was dedicated to building a national community of artists, organizations, and audiences creating, performing, and enjoying new American music. Over the past decade, AMC concentrated on advocacy for the community through a variety of online initiatives and also continued to support the community through grant programs, an array of information services, and by engaging with the broader performing arts field. MTC was founded in 1974 as a project of the New York State Council on the Arts. Led by the visionary composer John Duffy, MTC soon became an independent organization dedicated to the idea of composers as active professionals with a central role in our country’s musical culture. In the more than thirty years since, MTC grew to become a truly national organization, serving composers and audiences in all fifty states and promoting a thrillingly broad range of new music. MTC’s core programs—which include Commissioning Music/USA, Music Alive, and MetLife Creative Connections—are all continuing, as are NewMusicBox and Counterstream Radio (both originally AMC programs) under the New Music USA umbrella. Maintaining a strong online presence as well as an active network of worldwide contacts, which includes serving as the official United States member of the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC), New Music USA aims to bring the music created in this country to a global audience.
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Articles and commentary posted on NewMusicBox reflect the viewpoint of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply official endorsement by New Music USA.