Frank J. Oteri

Frank J. Oteri is a composer and music journalist based in New York City whose syncretic compositional style has been described as “distinctive” in The Grove Dictionary of American Music.

His compositions include: Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow premiered by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Delta David Gier; Fair and Balanced, a saxophone quartet in quartertones premiered and recorded by the PRISM Quartet; Imagined Overtures, for rock band in sixth-tones recorded by the Los Angeles Electric 8; Love Games, settings of poems by Elizabethan sonneteer Mary Wroth premiered at SubCulture by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City conducted by Francisco Núñez; and Versions of the Truth, a 12-song cycle based on the poetry of Stephen Crane for dual-voiced singer and piano commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingsford Fund and premiered by Phillip Cheah and Trudy Chan (The Cheah Chan Duo). MACHUNAS, the performance oratorio inspired by the life of Fluxus-founder George Maciunas which Oteri created in collaboration with Lucio Pozzi, premiered under the direction of Donatas Katkus during the Christopher Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2005.

Other interpreters of Oteri’s music include pianists Sarah Cahill and Maryanne Parker, harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky, guitarists Dominic Frasca and David Starobin, the Ray-Kallay Duo, Del Sol String Quartet, Pentasonic Winds, Sylvan Winds, the Locrian Chamber Players, and Central City Chorus.

In addition to his compositional activities, Oteri is the Composer Advocate at New Music USA and has been the Editor of the web magazine NewMusicBox since its launch online in May 1999. He is also the Vice President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) and serves on the board of directors of the International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC).

An outspoken crusader for new music and the breaking down of barriers between genres, he has written for numerous publications and is also a frequent radio guest and pre-concert speaker.

Oteri is a graduate of New York City’s High School of Music and Art and holds a B.A. and an M.A. (in Ethnomusicology) from Columbia University where he served as Classical Music Director and World Music Director for WKCR-FM. He was the recipient of ASCAP’s Victor Herbert Award in 2007 and he received the Composers Now Visionary Award in 2018.

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Featured Works

Fair and Balanced, for saxophone quartet in quartertones
Already Yesterday Or Still Tomorrow, for full orchestra
MACHUNAS, performance oratorio
Versions of the Truth, for dual-voiced male singer (baritone and soprano) and piano

Mvt. IV Incremental Change from Frank J. Oteri’s Fair & Balanced. Pacific Saxophone Quartet.


Frank J. Oteri talks about Already Yesterday or Still Tomorrow