I am a composer and violinist living in the Bronx, New York. I studied composition at the Eastman School of Music and mathematics at the University of Rochester.
As a founding member of the JACK Quartet, I have performed contemporary music throughout the world and premiered works from such composers as Chaya Czernowin, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philip Glass, Catherine Lamb, Tyshawn Sorey, and John Zorn. JACK's recordings include the complete quartets of Helmut Lachenmann and Iannis Xenakis and albums of the music of John Luther Adams, Caleb Burhans, Zosha Di Castri, Du Yun, Jason Eckardt, Cenk Ergün, Clara Iannotta, Horatiu Radulescu, Marc Sabat, Elliott Sharp, Dan Trueman, and Amy Williams.
I have also performed with such groups as Alarm Will Sound, the Cellar and Point, Ensemble Signal, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Knights, Ne(x)tworks, Talea, and the Theatre of Eternal Music String Ensemble. I have premiered and recorded numerous solo and chamber works by Zorn and performed as a soloist in Zorn's violin concerto Contes de Fées, and in Brian Ferneyhough's Terrain with Ensemble Signal.
Since 2004 my compositions have explored harmonic possibilities in an expanding universe of just intonation. JACK has been a laboratory for some of these experiments, performing several of my quartets. I have also written several pieces for the unique family of eight proportional violins designed by luthier and researcher Carleen Hutchins. While in residence at the University of Washington, I composed for an ensemble of instruments designed by Harry Partch.
My composition rag′sma for two or three string quartets was recorded by JACK and released on greyfade in 2021. Other recordings include my violin octet, for which I recorded all eight violin parts, and my violin duo, which was recorded by Erik Carlson. I wrote an article on my violin octet for Arcana VII: Musicians on Music (2014), an anthology edited by Zorn. My work also includes installations, including a thirty-six-hour piece for sine tones with violin. In addition to these compositions, I have arranged several medieval and Renaissance pieces notable for their rhythmic and harmonic complexity for JACK. My music can be heard at christopherotto.bandcamp.com, soundcloud.com/ottotelic, and this website.
Check out my son Obed's much cooler website and youtube channel.