"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

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Friday, July 11, 2008
it ain't in the name

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the orchestral competition I’m judging this summer. When I first got the list of ten finalists (no composers’ names) one of the titles immediately stuck out to me – in a bad way. “I sure hope this isn’t the best piece,” I thought, “because I can’t stand the title.” The title was one that composition students always fix on as sounding distinct and exciting – it’s like the tam-tam crash you can expect to hear in every student’s first orchestra piece. Almost all young composers seem to have a need to get that first tam-tam crash out of their systems, and a significant number seem to need to use this particular title as a moniker for their tam-tam explosions.

Well, I’ve spent a month with these ten pieces, and you’ll never guess which one I like the best.

I wonder if it would be kosher to write to the composer (if I ever find out who it is) and suggest another title.