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, December 14, 2008
Comparing Notes

Had a great conversation with Cho-Liang Lin about what we look for in potential students he teaches violin at Juilliard and Rice. He said he doesnt accept any students with technical issues, because its so difficult to undo bad habits. I replied that Id rather have a composition student with technical problems than one who was too polished.

I like students who are willing to try things outside of their comfort zones. Students who have perfectly honed contrapuntal, harmonic, orchestral and formal vocabularies often dont like trying anything new theyve invested too much in what they already know. Id rather have students who have been thrashing about in the dark for a while, stumbling on interesting ideas and finding their own ways to string them together. Those are the ones I can help, because they tend to be more curious about the big artistic issues.

Violinists start with technique, then focus on their artistry. I like young composers who start with an artistic vision, or even just a demonstrated hunger, then find the technique to realize their aspirations.