"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, September 05, 2008
Getting In Tune

I’m surprised I haven’t seen any comments on S21 about John Adams’s recent article in New Yorker (August 25, “Getting in Tune”). I thought it was a fun read. I especially enjoyed his description of the San Francisco avant garde scene in the 70s, which sounded like a specific take on concurrent scenes taking place throughout the country.

Adams is twelve years older than I am. I feel a special debt of gratitude toward him, and others his age, who decided to take their notes and rhythms personally at a time when many were content to choose such things through mathematical procedures or acts of random blindness. They made things that much easier for others to come.

I was a student then, deciding much the same thing, with both greater and lesser consequences. Greater consequences, because students can get squashed pretty quickly for going against the grain. Lesser consequences, because Adams had already begun to make a name for himself by doing the things he would turn his back on – he was risking whatever professional capital he may have accrued to that point.