"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

Blogs I Like

Tuesday, August 04, 2009
scary place to be

As I noted earlier, I took the second half of July off from working on my fifth quartet to start sketching my Schumann Trilogy. In 12 days, I made a good draft of the third piece, a few healthy sketches of the first piece, and batted my head hopelessly against the second. More on that later.

Now Iím back on the home stretch of the fifth quartet. This is when I try to find the weakest passage in the piece and see if I can improve it, on the assumption that a chain is only as strong as its least durable link.

In the case of the fifth quartet, the weakest passage is very obvious to me: itís a little more than halfway through the last movement. I wanted this passage to be an abrupt detour from the path of the piece, but Iím not convinced Iíve got it right. So, with five weeks to go before score and parts have to be delivered, Iím completely tearing down the last movement and rethinking it from the ground up.

And thatís a scary place to be Ė but a place Iíve been often enough before.