"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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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Iím proofreading parts for a piece Iím about to send off to the players. I always proofread at the piano, playing through each part, rests and all. Beats the hell out of scanning the page for errors. As I play, I get the performerís perspective on how the piece reads. Little things I wouldnít notice on the screen suddenly catch my eye, ear and hand.

Occasionally, when Iím playing through a part at the piano, Iíll get a new idea for the piece. That happened once in this piece, when I realized a cello phrase would make more sense ending on an Eb than a B. I hadn't noticed it, with everything else that was going on at that moment, but when I played the cello line by itself it was obvious.

Mostly, though, playing each part through at the piano the best way I know to spot all the funky slurs, odd misspellings and awkward line breaks.