Lawrence Dillon@Sequenza21.com

"There are no two points so distant from one another that they cannot be connected by a single straight line -- and an infinite number of curves."

Composer Lawrence Dillon has produced an extensive body of work, from brief solo pieces to a full-length opera. Three disks of his music are due out in 2010 on the Bridge, Albany and Naxos labels. In the past year, he has had commissions from the Emerson String Quartet, the Cassatt String Quartet, the Mansfield Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic, the Salt Lake City Symphony, the Ravinia Festival, the Daedalus String Quartet, the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the University of Utah and the Idyllwild Symphony Orchestra.

Although he lost 50% of his hearing in a childhood illness, Dillon began composing as soon as he started piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1985, he became the youngest composer to earn a doctorate at The Juilliard School, and was shortly thereafter appointed to the Juilliard faculty. Dillon is now Composer in Residence at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he has served as Music Director of the Contemporary Ensemble, Assistant Dean of Performance, and Interim Dean of the School of Music. He was the Featured American Composer in the February 2006 issue of Chamber Music magazine.


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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Baton Twirling

Rehearsals for Revenant are in full swing, so I may as well take this opportunity to report that Iíve never liked conducting very much. Iím actually pretty good at it, especially when itís my music, but I only do it when Iím absolutely sure that itís the best way to get the best performance.

Conducting is one of the two things that keeps me from composing fluently. (The other is music administration, but thatís another story.) I find that the kind of focus required for conducting is anathema to the creative process. I have no difficulty understanding why so few have been able to do both simultaneously. I just can't help thinking, in the midst of a complex series of cues, "gee, it would be great to put a quintuplet in the flutes here," which totally blows my concentration for the task at hand.

So, as happy as I am to have the premiere coming, and happy as I am to be able to play a vital role in shaping the performance, a huge part of me canít wait for Saturday morning, when it will all be over and I can recapture the stillness and free flow of ideas I need to keep writing.

Almost forgot: the Stravinsky Tuesday night was lovely.

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