"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.

Visit Lawrence Dillon's Web Site

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Sunday, December 04, 2005
True Aim

Those of us who were lucky enough to be brought up in creative environments were always told “it doesn’t matter what other people think of you, it’s what you think of yourself.”

Beautiful message to give a child, especially as the child enters adolescence and is faced with all of the stresses an adolescent lives through on a daily basis.

Once we reach adulthood, though, it’s worth reassessing that maxim. As Kundera has pointed out, we can think anything we want about ourselves, good or bad. The moment a thought of ours sparks a connection in someone else’s mind, though, is a magical one, an occurrence that is nearly impossible to explain.

I once heard a great woodwind pedagogue say, “Music should be exciting, not excited.” What does this mean? Simply this: it’s easy for a musician – composer or performer – to get excited about what s/he is doing. It’s far more difficult -- and far more profound, and far more necessary -- to capture someone else’s imagination, to be exciting.

Hitting both targets -- yourself, and the engaged listener – that’s the biggest challenge of them all.