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, April 19, 2009
Clerical error

I have a piece I wrote 17 years ago Ė a thirty-three minute song cycle for soprano and six instruments Ė thatís getting recorded in June. About a month ago, I realized I no longer had copies of the parts, so I contacted my publisher to ask for theirs, because I had a sneaking suspicion that the only remaining parts were from a different draft of the piece than the one I wanted to record. In other words, the piece was premiered in 1993, then revised, followed by a number of subsequent performances, each with slight adjustments Ė so several versions have existed.

As I feared, when the parts arrived, they didnít match the score I had. In fact, they didnít match any score of the piece that I could find. I no longer had an electronic copy, because the software it was notated with had morphed out of existence.

So for the past month Iíve been re-entering this piece -- all one-thousand-and-twelve measures of it, note by note Ė into my computer so I will have a score and parts that match. Itís a mind-bending and mind-numbing experience.

Age-old problem: Iím coming across passages that I want to rewrite, with the wisdom Iíve accrued over the years. But I donít think I will. Itís not that I feel that the original is sacred, I just truly donít have time Ė rehearsals start in a month. It kills me, though, because once itís recorded, thatís it. Since Iíll be involved in the recording, the result will be viewed as authentic, so itís now or never. What to do?