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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Sunday, May 01, 2005
Alternative Perspectives

Percussionist/composer Michael Udow is here this week for performances, workshops and a recording session. I attended a concert last night that was a joint affair between the Philidor Percussion Group and the NCSA Percussion Ensemble, featuring Udowís works.

Though itís not really my cup of tea (I have a hard time getting excited about five minutes of sandpaper scraping, no matter how clever the rhythmic relationships may be), Iím so glad we have him here, so the students can work with a terrific guy who has a lot to share both artistically and professionally. In particular, I like having the students exposed to viewpoints that are very different from mine, which sure beats me trying to cover all the bases myself.

The part of the concert that really grabbed me, though, was the West African and Indian music played by members of Philidor. The tabla, mrdangam and jembe have such a rich range of tones; in the hands of real masters they can be revelatory.