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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Monday, October 22, 2007
BlŁthner Concert

Iíve become accustomed to not expecting much from premieres Ė the conditions are rarely conducive to a first-rate performance Ė but Saturday night was a lovely exception. The performers really delivered, and Shona Simpson, the poet, gave an eloquent and genuine intro that set the mood beautifully.

It didnít hurt that I was sharing the evening with Chopin, Enescu, Brahms, Loeffler and Prokofiev, and yet my piece was accorded the honor of coming last on the program, and getting the most substantial build-up and response. Seems an appropriate way to treat a premiere, but itís not the rule.

Quite honestly, Still Point deserved the special treatment Ė it was clearly the equal or better of any of the other pieces on the program. I donít say that lightly, but this piece really hits the mark.

And although Iíve remarked on it before, I canít help but exclaim again about the wonderful atmosphere of these BlŁthner concerts. It feels so good to be part of an intimate gathering, sipping wine, gathered around the piano and really focusing on the music, in the way much of this chamber music was meant to be heard. Iím not sure how many of us there were Ė 40? 50? -- but we all shared something very special.