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, October 21, 2008
Not Worried Yet

Iím a bit behind schedule on several pieces right now. I had hoped to have my fourth string quartet sketched by the end of September, but the last movement is proving elusive. For October I was going to focus on initial sketches for my fifth quartet, but I havenít gotten started on that yet.

Fortunately, neither of those pieces has to be in the performersí hands until July, so Iím not worried yet.

Meanwhile, Iíve just finished up a long-considered transcription of Sonata: Motion for violin and piano Ė the piece was originally for flute and piano. The first movement switched instruments rather easily. The second movement needed a complete revision to fit the violin. The third movement got extensive work too, because I was never satisfied with the piano part.

The transcription needed to be finished right away, for reasons Iíll get to in a later post.

This week, work on my quartets had to wait while I wrote a four-minute piece for violin and piano, based on an aria from my opera Buffa.

And I havenít given any thought to my Schumann Trilogy in about a year. I need to get back to it before too long, though, because itís a monster. But it isnít due until January 2010, so, as with the quartets, Iím not too concerned yet.

All of these pieces have me in an unaccustomed, though not uncomfortable, position. Iím used to figuring out what I want to work on, setting a timetable, and beating that timetable rather handily. With these pieces, though, Iíve been given deadlines and set my timetables accordingly (eg, first draft in September) -- but Iíve fallen behind from the outset.

Right now Iím not worried. But if Iím still behind my timetables as spring begins, youíll see me dripping gobs of perspiration all over this pristine blog.