Joshua Gersen is, in addition to being a composer, the Musical Director of the New York Youth Symphony and Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. An advocate for new music, he helps to oversee the NYYS’s annual composer competition, which awards commissions to three composers under 30.
During the course of our conversation,w e talked about the role of youth orchestras, the nature of orchestral writing, and the annual NYYS composition competition.
Scott Tegge, tubist for the Gaudete Brass, knows how to hustle, and he's genuinely an awesome guy. We met at the "composer hang" coordinated by Frank J. Oteri during the Midwest Clinic, and I knew right away that he had to be a guest on the show. In addition to all the work he does for the quintet, he also teaches an insane amount, and is in the process of creating a new non-profit to help generate more opportunities for brass players.
During the course of our conversation, a few of the things we talked about were: collaborations (both good and bad), having diversified revenue, and knowing how to fundraise effectively.
William J. Lackey is one of the many cool people I met at the Midwest Clinic. In addition to his work as a composer, Billy has been the Administrative Director at the Mizzou New Music Initiative, and served on the Boards of the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Odyssey Chamber Music Series, and the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance. He’s currently a Vice President of Programs at the American Composers Forum, and he brings all of the skills he learned in these various positions to bear in his composing career.
During the course of our conversation, we chatted about transformative teachers, learning administrative skills, and a host of opportunities available for composers through the American Composers Forum.
In Part 2 of my conversation with Frank J. Oteri, we talk about reconciling different genres, thinking about audiences and their (lack of) preconceptions, and amateurism.
To say that Frank J. Oteri has a multi-faceted career in music is a gross understatement. In addition to his own work as a composer, he has been the Co-Editor for NewMusicBox since it was created in 1999, where he writes and reports on all manner of topics relating to the realm of new music, and he bears the unique title of Composer Advocate at New Music USA. He works tirelessly on behalf of composers in the US and abroad, and has a breadth and depth of knowledge of living composers and their works that is, quite simply, staggering.
I’ve been friends with Frank and his wife Trudy Chan (Ep. 25) for years, and it’s always a joy to hang out and chat with either of them. So for this week, Frank and I sat down with a bottle of wine, and talked for over two hours! Rest assured, I’ve split the conversation into two parts so that the second half will come out next week.
In Part 1 of this lengthy conversation, we talk about pushing artistic boundaries, the nature of “originality”, and what it means to be an advocate for new music.