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, August 24, 2008
Thin Air

I havenít blogged about my travels this summer, but Iíll get around to it eventually. Some complicated stories to tell Ė this past week I attended the premiere of a piece of mine on the steps of City Hall in Alameda, California. Was it a political event? Well, sort of.

But more on that later -- right now I want to spleenify about the deterioration of airline service.

For my Oakland-to-Phoenix flight last week, the ticket agent handed me 12 boarding passes to cover all of the connections Ė but didnít give me a little foldover envelope to hold them in. Turns out the airlines have decided to save money by not giving away any more of their little foldover envelopes.

So now I have the first-hand experience to report that itís hard work keeping twelve boarding passes organized when you havenít planned for it.

Once on board, as everyone knows, they are now charging for drinks. Not just the alcoholic kind, but juice and water, too. (Never mind that on my six-hour cross-country flight over dinnertime, they were charging for food as well. Fortunately, the cost didnít have any effect on me Ė because they ran out of food by the time they got to my seat!)

But getting back to Oakland-Phoenix: all of the preceding annoyances would have been bearable if it hadnít been for the screen I had in front of my face showing nothing but commercials for two solid hours. I didnít have the option of turning it off. I felt like one of those bloated post-humans in Wall-E, strapped to my chair and sedated with an endless stream of emptily seductive images.

Donít even get me started on the two hours of screaming baby I had to endure.

Oh wait, there was no screaming baby Ė that was me.