Author Archives: Frank J. Oteri

About Frank J. Oteri

Frank J. Oteri, New Music USA's Composer Advocate and the Senior Editor of NewMusicBox, is an outspoken crusader for new music and the breaking down of barriers between genres. Frank’s own musical compositions reconcile structural concepts from minimalism and serialism and frequently explore microtonality.

Can’t See the Trees for the Forest at the 2015 Grammys

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If the Recording Academy feels that certain awards they give are not worthy of exposure on network television (which ultimately are the awards that wind up getting reported on in most of the media outlets and therefore the ones that most people are aware actually of), why give the awards in the first place?

What About Those Great American Symphonies?

The keypad of a telephone showing the buttons for numbers 1 to 9

There’s been a “desert island nine symphonies” game making the rounds on Facebook. (Pick nine different numbered symphonies, 1-9, by nine different composers.) Here are some American repertoire ideas.

Jerome Kitzke: Stories That Must Be Told

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Although his chosen means of expression is music, Jerome Kitzke describes himself as a storyteller. Kitzke’s musical stories have frequently dealt with the plight of Native Americans and other examples of social injustice. If his music inspires people to explore some of these issues on their own he considers himself successful.

Julian Wachner: Transcending the Sacred and the Profane

Julian Wachner sitting in front of Trinity Wall Street altar.

Composer, conductor, and Trinity Church music director Julian Wachner believes that all music is meant to induce a transformative experience upon the listener and believes that changing listeners’ lives through music is a “moral responsibility of the compositional craft and the performative craft as well.”

Eve Beglarian Wins 2015 Robert Rauschenberg Award

Eve Beglarian

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), a nonprofit arts organization founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns, has announced that composer Eve Beglarian is the recipient of their third annual Robert Rauschenberg Award which includes an unrestricted cash prize of $35,000.

Daron Hagen: The Human Element

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For Daron Hagen, working on an opera is so immersive that his life can be fairly neatly divided into chapters corresponding to each of the operas he has written. Nowadays, even though he is principally concerned with being a father, opera continues to inspire him, in part because he sees parallels between writing opera and parenting.

Paul Dresher: Intense Beauty, Visceral Energy, and Sonic Curiosity

Paul Dresher

Paul Dresher has done work in at least three distinct musical streams with equal vigor and equally significant results. But whether he’s creating a fully notated piece of post-minimalist chamber music, a poly-stylistic score for an intense musical theater work, or an idiosyncratic experiment for one-of-a kind instruments of his own design, he’s always operating with the same basic assumptions about his audience.

Laurie Spiegel: Grassroots Technologist

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Electronic music pioneer Laurie Spiegel sees a lot of common ground between the seemingly oppositional aesthetics of folk traditions and the digital realm. But whether she’s creating a computer-realized algorithmic composition, crafting a short piano piece or orchestral score, or jamming on a guitar or a banjo, the most important element in all of her music making is emotional engagement.