"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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Monday, June 12, 2006
Old and New

When music lovers argue about what music should and shouldn’t do, we frequently fall into fallacious age comparisons. If technique x has been around longer than y, we say x is more natural than y, by which we mean it is better. If, on the other hand, we prefer y, we might say x is no longer relevant, making y better because it is more current.

Relative age is an important descriptive aspect of music and musical materials, but it’s foolish to dismiss techniques on the basis of how long they’ve been around. Art is about truth, which is sometimes as new as BluRay and sometimes as old as dust.

We think of the cosmos very differently from the way it was thought of a few decades ago. But we breathe the same way – in and out -- we have for 10,000 years.

Which of those truths is more relevant to our existence? Which one is more important to artistic expression?