"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.

Visit Lawrence Dillon's Web Site

Blogs I Like

Saturday, May 28, 2005
fancy footwork

The premiere of What Happened went very well Thursday night. We got a good audience of appreciative music lovers who seemed to find the piece a bit puzzling (appropriate, since I find it a bit puzzling myself) and provocative. Best was the second movement, entitled Congregation, in which three rich chorale textures in overlapping tempos converge in an explosion, followed by quiet chaos. The whole piece explores situations like this: seemingly predictable passages somehow end up heading in distant, ephemeral directions. The score of the second movement carries these lines from Daniel Defoe (1701):

Wherever God erects a house of prayer,
The Devil always builds a chapel there;
And ‘twill be found, upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.

After the performance, a group of us headed out for drinks and great conversation, followed by unbelievable ice cream cones at 1 am -- each one sculpted into a lovely abstract design.

This premiere came about because of a conversation I had last fall with two of the musicians. After a performance of electronic music they were involved in, we were chatting about their careers, and they mentioned they were performing in Paris in May. I asked them if they would like to premiere a new piece there, they were delighted, et voilà! I got this tax-deductible trip out of the conversation.

Now that the concert is past, I am walking all over, taking in the sights of the city. It’s my fourth time here, but my first extended visit in 20 years. My hotel is on the block where Hemingway and Descartes spent many fruitful years. In fact, I spent some downtime this afternoon in Luxembourg Gardens, where the starving Hemingway would stroll around with a baby carriage, waiting until the police were looking in the other direction so he could pounce on an unsuspecting pigeon, throttle it, then stuff it under the blankets for a cheap meal.

As I walk the streets, the architecture is tremendous, the sunlight is intoxicating and the smells from the pâtisseries are irresistible. It’s easy to forget to keep an eye out for the occasional crème du chien on the sidewalks.