"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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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Complimentary tickets are a great boon to young musicians, enabling them to attend concerts they could not afford to hear otherwise, giving them growth opportunities that will pay dividends for years to come. They are also tremendous for anyone else who for whatever reason doesnt have the wherewithal to pay the price of admission.

But Im always amazed at the number of people who live perfectly comfortable lifestyles, yet insist on asking for comps at every opportunity. With all of the things we pay for without thinking, why do so many people consider music an essential part of their lives, but one that they should get for free?

In particular, I cant understand why successful professional musicians want comps after all, they can take the price of concert admission as a tax deduction.

Music is my favorite thing to spend money on. I hate spending money (although I do, grudgingly) on water and electricity -- who owns those things? Who made them?

Just compare to other entertainment options. People pay exorbitant monthly fees just for basic commercial cable. 90% of the channels they are paying for, they never watch. What exactly is their money buying them? Nothing they are simply paying rent on a wire that runs from the street into their homes. In a sense, they are paying tribute to a more powerful social force the cable company as if they were locked in a feudal relationship with an overlord.

The concert world is a very insignificant force in our society. Im happy to give it all the help it can get. Im not rolling in dough, but as far as Im concerned, if you have money to spend, spend it on the things that mean the most to you.