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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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Miller Time

The North Carolina School of the Arts has Schools of Dance, Design, Drama, Filmmaking and Music. As one might expect, we have our share of quirky faculty members. Among the quirkiest is Jim Miller, our trombone instructor.

Jim, besides teaching a full studio of trombonists ranging in age from high school to grad students, is Associate Principal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Yes, the LA Phil, the one all the way over there on the left coast. There is no direct flight from Los Angeles to Winston-Salem, but Jim makes the trip faithfully every week, catching a flight out of LAX after every Sunday matinee and racing out of here every Tuesday afternoon to get back in time for the next rehearsal. I donít know how he does it, but heís doing something right: his trombone students are excellent.

You can read about his weekly travels/travails here.

Last night, Jim stayed a few extra hours to play a recital here. He gives one of these recitals every year, always featuring a few of his own quirky pieces Ė virtuosic, improvisational forays for trombone, usually with extended techniques, sometimes with electronics. Theyíre not really my bag, but Iím glad he does them, because I like the fact that we offer our students and our community a wide assortment of music.

This concert also featured the premiere of Attachment by Jesse Blair, one of our composition students. We had a competition this year for our students to write pieces for various combinations; the three winners are having their pieces premiered on faculty concerts. Jesse is a first-year grad student studying with Michael Rothkopf, and his solo trombone piece was our first winner of the season.

As I post this, Jim is on his way back to LA. Donít know how he does it, but you gotta love the results.