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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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Economic downturn

Had an interesting meeting with my boss the other day to discuss the restructuring of my position in the wake of substantial budget cuts. He offered me two options, which I can summarize as follows: pay cut or demotion.

In other words, I could have my job reclassified in a way that most people would find very impressive while taking a pay cut, or I could keep the same pay but have my responsibilities reconfigured into more of a clerical position.

I donít blame him for offering these options Ė heís doing his best to manage a tough situation Ė itís just funny to me that this is my choice: worse work or worse pay. Youíd assume a better job would translate into better pay. But these are not typical times.

And Iím not feeling sorry for myself, because all of us who are employed right now have to count ourselves fortunate.

So which will I choose? Right now, itís a tossup for me. But he wants an answer asap, of course, because my answer will affect a number of other decisions he has to make.

Which way will I go? Or is there another option we havenít thought of?