"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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Sunday, October 14, 2007
Public Nudity

I had a first rehearsal the other day of a piece of mine with a group of people who had never played my music before. Always an awkward experience. The toughest part is getting started. We extended the introductory pleasantries a bit too long, putting off the inevitable moment when we had to expose ourselves under the worst of conditions me with my music only half-understood and half-learned by the performers, and the performers putting their technical prowesses on back-burner while they sifted through unfamiliar challenges.

I had a dream many years ago in which I showed up to a party and felt that something was wrong all the other guests were suppressing little giggles. Gradually I came to understand that they were passing around Polaroids of me naked. When I woke up, I realized that I was dreaming about the experience of attending a performance of a piece of mine all of my most intimate thoughts on public display.

I think of that dream each time I have a premiere, and even more each time I walk into the first rehearsal of a new piece.