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, July 19, 2009
Listening to Yourself

Composers, how much time to you spend listening to recordings of your music? I find my answer to that question fluctuates dramatically.

Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly self-critical, I canít listen to a minute of my music without cringing. Most of the time, I donít want to listen to older pieces because Iím too focused on whatís coming next.

But occasionally, for one reason or another, I find myself listening to the same piece or pieces over and over. Iím in that place right now, as I get the proofs for the Naxos recording of my violin music and walk around with 25 yearsí worth of compositions in my ear. And Iím surprised at how pleasant it is. Life is full of anxieties, big and small Ė itís nice to lose touch with the moment as my mind scans back over the decades, hearing old things from new angles, hearing different places Iíve been, different avenues explored Ė all preserved so magnificently by such wonderful artists.

I find myself smiling privately at the oddest moments.