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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Monday, June 01, 2009
Who's in the Band?

Six hours of rehearsal down. Four hours of recording tomorrow, four more hours on Tuesday. I managed to sneak down to the Winter Garden for the Bang on a Can Marathon, just long enough to catch Brad Lubman conducting Signal in Michael Gordonís hour-long Trance. The experience wasnít much to tweet home about, though Ė thereís far more going on in that piece than the Winter Garden could report. But there were a lot of enthusiastic listeners, scattered among the cell-phone users and baby strollers.

Zipped out when the tabla player began. Sad to say, Iíve pretty much burned out on tabla playing. Partly because I was a little too enthusiastic about it ten years ago. Besides, it was time for me to get back to the hotel so I could Sing in the Can.

I tried to get into the Guggenheim to hear Nico Muhlyís new scent opera, but arrived a tad late Ė sold out. So I canít speak for the opera, but my attempt to witness it really stank.

Meanwhile, I have neglected to credit the remarkable musicians Iím working with right now. Time to make amends:
Lauren Flanigan, soprano
Stephen Williamson, clarinet
Taimur Sullivan, tenor saxophone
Arnaud Sussmann, violin
Richard OíNeill, viola
Clancy Newman, cello
Melvin Chen, piano
Ransom Wilson, conductor
It's a monster roster, and Ransom sets just the right tone in rehearsal, giving guidance where needed, allowing everyone enough room to let their musicianship fly. This afternoon weíll gather at the Academy and nail this piece down, bar by bar.