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.

Hafez Modirzadeh: Crossing The Bridge

Hafez Modirzadeh playing his alto saxophone sitting on a piano bench in front of an upright piano.

There’s a transformation happening in improvised music involving the embrace of a greater intervallic palette. Bay Area-based composer, saxophonist, and musical theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has been one of the key architects of this sonic expansion.

Celebrating New Music Awards Week

As they have done annually since 1942, academicians and award recipients sit on the stage of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Auditorium awaiting the commencement of the Ceremonial.

Details on award recipients in the 63rd BMI Student Composer Awards, the 16th ASCAP Concert Music Awards, and the 75th American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial.

Jen Shyu: No More Sequined Dresses

Close up of Jen Shyu

The time that Jen Shyu spent in Taiwan, Indonesia, East Timor, China, South Korea, Cuba and Brazil has broadened her musical language, but she still considers herself an experimental jazz vocalist.

Fay Victor: Opening Other Doors


Fay Victor began her career as a straight-ahead jazz singer but now makes extremely difficult to define music that embraces blues, psychedelic rock, Caribbean popular forms, experimentalism, and even elements of classical music, as well as jazz.

My Sunshine

On the original LP cover for George Russell's The Outer View (which is not the image reproduced in subsequent reissues), Russell is standing in front of the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

Listening to Charlie Parker’s 1945 recording of “Now’s The Time” changed Sheila Jordan’s life, but hearing her sing “You Are My Sunshine” changed mine.

Sheila Jordan: Music Saved My Life

Sheila Jordan

Whatever Sheila Jordan sings she makes completely her own to the point that the line between composition and interpretation is extremely blurry. Now in her late 80s, Jordan is booked for the rest of the year with performances and masterclasses across the USA, as well in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Japan.

Singing It—Generations in Jazz

Jen Shyu, Fay Victor and Sheila Jordan

What a jazz singer does with a melody is every bit as compositional as an improvised instrumental solo, and not only when those singers are scat singing. Over the course of the next three weeks, three extraordinary jazz vocalists who come from three very different backgrounds and span three generations—Sheila Jordan, Fay Victor, and Jen Shyu—will tell the story of why they sing, what they sing, and perhaps most importantly, why they sing what they sing.

Julia Wolfe Wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Photo of Julia Wolfe

Julia Wolfe has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music for the oratorio Anthracite Fields which premiered on April 26, 2014 in Philadelphia in a performance by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Mendelssohn Club Chorus.

Samuel Adler: Knowing What You’re Doing

Samuel Adler in front of a map of the United States

At 87, Samuel Adler remains steadfast in his determination to preserve and build upon the Western classical tradition–as the composer of six symphonies, five operas, a dozen concertos, tons of sonatas, and ten string quartets (eight of which he still acknowledges), as well as a teacher for 63 years and the author of definitive tomes on orchestration, choral conducting, and sight singing.