"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, March 09, 2008
A matter of proportion

I have known a number of artists who were unpleasant human beings – unpleasant in the way they treat others, and in the way they view themselves. They see the rest of the world from a distance, measuring the value of others by their usefulness to the biggest ego in the room.

I used to think that my quest for artistic heights was an excuse, even an invitation, for bad behavior. Now I realize that achievement and mean-spiritedness are only related if we are willing to be spiritually lazy. There is no reason to choose between artistic accomplishment and interpersonal sensitivity.

I know artists who are rotten human beings, and I have no patience for them. Others may say, “well, sure he’s a pain in the ass, that’s part of being a genius,” but I refuse to go along with that tandem. Nobody has to be a saint, but viciousness shouldn’t be tolerated. Besides, some of the greatest artists I've known have been lovely human beings.

A terrific imagination – even an enormous ego – is no excuse for a small mind.