This composition is called Dually for a variety of reasons. On the most basic level it is music for two people. But it is also music that was composed by two very different people: It is based on the very first stand-alone instrumental composition I wrote back in 1979, having gotten deeply interested in classical music for the first time in my life because of a teacher I had at New York’s High School of Music and Art named Lionel Chernoff (1936-2016). I was not yet 15 years old. But I have substantially revised it decades later, in 2017 at the age of 52, soon after I learned that Chernoff had passed away. I have also used the word dually to acknowledge that although the classical music canon is built upon the notion that the great composers of the past were solely responsible for their timeless masterpieces, nothing has ever been created in a vacuum and this music also would not exist in our present time without the contributions of many other people—interpreters, presenters, and other advocates, and, perhaps most importantly, listeners. All of my own humble attempts at contributing to the repertoire have been the by-product of lots of things I have learned from lots of other people. Many of the most important things I learned in my formative years I learned from Lionel Chernoff and whenever I listen to or write music, I am not doing so alone; he is with me. The word dually and the words I used for the titles of each of the four movements of the piece are all adverbs ending in “ly” for Lee, Lionel Chernoff’s nickname which I rarely called him by but by which I will always remember him.
–Frank J. Oteri