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.

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Getting To Know Who I Am

Rudresh Mahanthappa standing in the yard outside his home with trees and a hill behind him.

Rudresh Mahanthappa explores his composite cultural identity through an extremely wide range of fascinating musical activities. Some of these projects have been direct attempts to synthesize contemporary jazz and much older Indian traditions. Perhaps even more intriguing, however, has been music in which jazz and Carnatic elements co-exist alongside many other components.

Royce Vavrek: So Many Juicy, Amazing Words

Royce Vavrek sitting down in front of a graffiti-strewn wall.

While an extremely wide range of composers are writing operas in the United States today, many of these disparate operas share an important trait—a libretto written by someone who was born in Alberta, Canada: Royce Vavrek. The gregarious Vavrek at first seems like an unlikely candidate for the mysterious, and regretfully somewhat anonymous, profession of writing opera librettos, but he loves telling stories and collaboration.

About Those 2016 Grammy Nominations

The official social profile image for the Grammy Awards, a cartoon of an old horn gramophone.

Media pundits will probably debate whether the latest from Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, or The Weeknd will get the nod as 2016 Album of the Year, but the choice for Best Contemporary Classical Composition might ultimately be more interesting; it certainly seems even more competitive.

Mary Jane Leach: Sonic Confessions

MJLHomepage

For decades Mary Jane Leach has been composing music that explores and exploits various psychoacoustic “ghost” sounds such as beat tones and combination tones. As a result, she has created numerous works for multiples of the same instrument or voice. She is also drawn to physical spaces where such sonic phenomena are at their most pronounced, such as churches, which is why she lives in one.

André Previn: How Lucky I Am Now

Andre Previn sitting and holding a microphone. Photo by J. Adam Fenster, courtesy G. Schirmer/Music Sales.

Composer, conductor, and pianist André Previn has been equally comfortable making music in and for concert halls, jazz clubs, opera houses, Broadway theaters, and the silver screen for three quarters of a century. But now he’s composing more prolifically than ever before.

Andy Milne: Putting the Theory Into Practice

Andy Milne

Being an astute listener to the world around him and playing in a wide array of styles throughout his career has enabled Andy Milne to operate fluently in all of them, whether its his hip-hop infused jazz combo Dapp Theory, a collaboration with traditional Japanese koto players, or his soundtracks for William Shatner’s series of Star Trek documentaries.