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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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
L&R, 20th c. string quartets

Over on NewMusicBox, Carl Stone has proposed four nice categories for music lists:

ē pieces that you love and respect
ē pieces that you respect but donít love
ē pieces that you love but donít respect
ē pieces that you neither love nor respect

Iím teaching a course on 20th-century string quartets this year, so my lists are very narrowly focused Ė 1900-1975 string quartets:
  • Love and respect: Ravel, Webern Six Bagatelles, Bartok first and fourth, Shostakovich eighth, Carter second, Scelsi fourth
  • Respect but donít love: Schoenberg second, Berg Lyric Suite, Bartok third, Crumb Black Angels, Dutilleux Ainsi le nuit
  • Love but donít respect: I donít really understand this category. What is love without respect?*
  • Neither love nor respect: Schoenberg first, Bartok second, Barber op. 11, Carter third
Of course, the categories I put these pieces in have shifted over the years, and I expect them to shift further. And then there are the vast majority of quartets I don't know where to place.

*Well, I suppose that all of my quartets could fall into this category Ė simply because I love them unconditionally while feeling their faults keenly. On the other had, only one of my quartets is from the 20th century, so they don't count.