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.

American Repertoire Spring

The only way that any music created on our own soil will ever be able to compete with the standard repertoire—both in terms of audience devotion to it and the high level at which it is regularly performed—is for our own music to be programmed more frequently. Luckily that seems to be starting to happen!

Sounds Heard: Heather Schmidt—Icicles of Fire

Aside from its inherent interest due to the broad range of music that composer Heather Schmidt has fashioned out of one of the more traditional chamber music duo configurations, a new Centrediscs recording of her music for cello and piano duo is a wonderful documentation of an ongoing collaboration between an interpreter (cellist Shauna Rolston) and a composer who is also featured herein as the pianist.

Making Something Work vs. Doing Whatever You Want

The current working model for orchestras does not allow musicians to spend a great deal of time on anything, and the accepted wisdom for getting music in front of an orchestra—and getting the players to do an effective job with it—is to streamline what you write: make it relatively easy to sight-read, avoid pitch and metrical things that are out of the ordinary, etc.

Sounds Heard: Brian Chase—Drums & Drones

Yeah Yeah Yeahs beatmeister Brian Chase’s Drums & Drones, as its title implies, foregrounds pitch in a new way that is perhaps only possible for someone whose primary musical activity is playing in one of the most visceral of New York City’s post-punk bands.

Caroline Shaw Wins 2013 Pulitzer Prize

Partita for 8 Voices by Caroline Shaw has been awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Also nominated in this category were Aaron Jay Kernis’s Pieces of Winter Sky and Wadada Leo Smith’s Ten Freedom Summers.

Eye on the Prize

The ubiquity of instantaneous information transmission via social media means that sooner or later we will inevitably lose the race for being the first media outlet to announce the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, but we’re still in it until we do. Come back at 3:00 p.m.

Singing Along

Should more orchestral performances feature video, some kind of technological enhancement, or opportunities for the audience to share in performing the music? I’m not sure on any of those fronts, although “coLABoratory: Playing It Unsafe” was one of the most exciting ACO concerts I have attended in quite some time in large part because of the added layers of vulnerability.

Nobody’s Fool

I fear that any music-related narrative that I’d attempt to relate today might be misinterpreted as some kind of joke, so instead I thought I’d ponder a couple of the hoaxes that made it into my web browser today.

Neil Rolnick: Seamless Transitions

Neil Rolnick is extremely soft-spoken and self-effacing, but for over 30 years he has helped to create a much changed musical landscape in the United States in terms of musical aesthetics and the application of technology in concert performance.