"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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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
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We hosted Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for a residency here over the weekend. For me, that meant coordinating the pickup and dropoff times for over a dozen flights, shuttling guests to and from hotel rooms, and being a curious and informative host.

In return, we got a beautiful performance Sunday night, along with five master classes and two chamber coachings. The classes were taught by Ida Kavafian, Paul Neubauer, Fred Sherry, Kurt Muroki and Carol Wincenc. The coachings were done by Cho-Liang Lin and Tara Helen OíConnor.

Iím collecting feedback from the participants on the classes and coachings. The performance was an evening of concertos Ė seemingly an odd choice for a chamber music society, but they were all Baroque concertos, so they were perfect for the virtuosic ensembles assembled before us. Handel, Telemann, Corelli and Vivaldi held sway in the first half. The second half featured Bachís fourth and fifth Brandenburgs.

Sharing the stage with the veterans listed above, four outstanding young players made strong impressions: Lily Francis, Arnaud Sussman, Beth Guterman and Priscilla Lee. In particular, Francis and Sussman sparkled as both soloists and ensemble players. And John Gibbons gave a fantastical performance of Handelís B-flat major harpsichord concerto.