"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, November 05, 2006
Stuffy and Pretentious

One of the mantras I find over and over on the web is Get Music Out Of The Stuffy Concert Halls And Into Alternative Venues.

I understand where this sentiment is coming from, but I have a contra-indicative anecdote.

One of my grad students did his undergraduate work at a school that focuses on preparing students for success in the commercial field. He attended a concert here in our Watson Hall for the first time last week. He was blown away by the experience of sitting in a venue in which hundreds of people were focused entirely on the music. After playing jazz and rock in clubs, bars, etc., he had become used to hearing the end of everything he played merge into the ambient noise of the setting. Sometimes the audience noise was a little more than ambient, and the music was drowned out entirely.

At the concert here, he was completely floored to see all of these people sitting in stunned silence at the conclusion of a piece, followed by enthusiastic ovations. It was his first experience with a Classical concert audience, and he was hooked.

We have to keep in mind that concert halls are built for the enjoyment of music, as opposed to other venues with other priorities. There is something to be said for an environment that supports listening to music in all of its detail and all of its glory.

And is it just me, or has anyone else ever been to a club that was stuffy and pretentious?