Cadenza
The Newsletter of Composer Lawrence Dillon


Volume I Number II
Winter 2004

LAWRENCE DILLON'S MUSIC IN THE CONCERT HALL

DAVID JOLLEY TO PREMIERE DILLON HORN CONCERTO IN FEBRUARY

The 2005 Southeast chapter of the International Horn Society convention will feature the world premiere of Lawrence Dillon's Revenant: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra. The composer will conduct the Carolina Chamber Symphony, with David Jolley as soloist. The convention will also feature performances by horn players from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

David Jolley has been acclaimed as one of his generation's most notable horn players. The New York Times described him as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician of "remarkable virtuosity," and Gramophone magazine has hailed him as "a soloist second to none." His recital appearances throughout the United States include performances at New York's 92nd St. "Y" and Alice Tully Hall. He is a frequent guest artist with the musicians from Marlboro, Guarneri Quartet, Beaux Arts Trio, and the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center. Recent orchestral engagements include the Detroit Symphony, The Phoenix Symphony, The Memphis Symphony, The Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Kamerata Chamber Orchestra of Athens. Mr. Jolley recently premiered Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's Concerto for Horn and String Orchestra with the Rochester Philharmonic, and performed it in Carnegie Hall with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Lawrence Dillon has written two other concerti to date, a violin concerto commissioned and premiered by Naumburg winner Elaine Richey, and a flute concerto commissioned and premiered by Elizabeth Ransom.

AROUND THE WORLD WITH AMADEUS EX MACHINA

On March 20th, 2005, the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic will perform Dillon's Amadeus ex machina in a concert of music by American and Russian composers. The performance will take place in the spectacular Shuvalovsky Palace on the Fontanka River.

Premiered by the Carolina Chamber Symphony in 2002, Amadeus ex machina has already gone on to international recognition, winning a special commendation from the Masterprize Panel in London and serving as contemporary competition piece for the Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition in Kharkov, Ukraine. The piece has also been performed by the Louisville Orchestra and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

ADYTUM PREMIERED IN CARNEGIE HALL's WEILL RECITAL HALL

Flutist Renee Siebert (of the New York Philharmonic) and the American String Quartet premiered Lawrence Dillon's Adytum in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on February 8, 2004. The composition, which won an award from the American Music Center, features swirling harmonies and textures that coalesce into transcendent passages of calm lyricism. The title (Adytum) refers to the innermost sanctuary of an ancient temple.


WINSTON-SALEM SYMPHONY TAKES SNEGGLISH DANCES TO SCHOOL

The Winston-Salem Symphony will perform Dillon's Snegglish Dances for 4th, 5th and 6th graders at Reynolds Auditorium on November 9th and 10th. Snegglish Dances was commissioned by the Louisville Orchestra as part of an educational project designed to develop creative listening skills in young audiences. Enlisting the aid of area schools, the orchestra assisted teachers in exploring the connections between composing music and writing stories. Basic components of both disciplines were emphasized, including setting, character, plot, conflict, and resolution.

The children who have experienced Snegglish Dances have responded enthusiastically. According to fourth grader Zach Motes, "My favorite piece of music was Snegglish Dances, this piece really was exciting because it described how each character was feeling and how they acted."

For more about Snegglish Dances, visit its website.

BIG BROTHERS TO PREMIERE IN MUSIC@WATSON SERIES

On November 9th, Dillon's Big Brothers, a new work for saxophone, vibraphone and piano, will be premiered in the new music@watson series at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Featuring resident artists and guests, the music@watson series takes place in the acoustically superb and lovely Watson Chamber Music Hall at NCSA.

A lighthearted work, Big Brothers is a tongue-in-cheek, jazzy meditation on sibling rivalries and relationships.

NEW PIANO QUARTET SET TO PREMIERE IN PARIS

Lawrence Dillon has begun work on a new piano quartet, set to premiere in Paris in May of 2005. Watch for details in our next issue!

LAWRENCE DILLON NAMED FINALIST IN UTAH ARTS FESTIVAL COMPETITION

The Utah Arts Festival awarded Lawrence Dillon a special commendation in the 2005 National Composers Commission. There were 115 applicants from the US and Europe for the prize, a commission for a new work for chamber orchestra. Dillon's Amadeus ex machina, which was commissioned and premiered by the Carolina Chamber Symphony, was among the five finalists for the $10,000 commission.

THIRD QUARTET OF INVISIBLE CITIES CYCLE COMPLETED

Air, the third in a cycle of six string quartets, was completed in early September of 2004. Inspired by the concluding passage of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, the six quartets each draw connections between Classical forms and contemporary life. In the same way in which the cinematic close-up can reveal more than any dialogue, with close focus each of these forms reveals a wealth of possibilities and a surprising relevance to contemporary thought and experience.

Air revisits the Classical aria, with an intensely expressive melody framed by delicate, atmospheric passages and a stormy interior. It is currently awaiting a premiere. The first quartet, Jests and Tenderness, was premiered and recorded by the Mendelssohn String Quartet; the second, Flight, was premiered last season by the Daedalus String Quartet.

For more about the Invisible Cities Cycle, visit here.

DILLON ON THE WEB

For more information about Lawrence Dillon, including a bio, works, discography, visit http://www.lawrencedillon.com/. You can also contact Jeffrey James Arts Consulting at 516-586-3433 or jamesarts@worldnet.att.net.


LAWRENCE DILLON SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDES TENURE AS NCSA DEAN

On August 8, 2004, Lawrence Dillon handed over the reins of the School of Music at the North Carolina School of the Arts to his successor, Thomas Clark, concluding an auspicious year in the school's history.

Dillon stepped into the role of dean upon the departure of Robert Yekovich, who took over the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in July 2003.

Dillon presided over the school while a national search identified a permanent replacement. During his tenure, the NCSA School of Music made significant advances in its educational mission:

  • The new School of Music Complex, with rehearsal rooms, teaching studios and administrative offices opened in August 2003.
  • A gala opening weekend for the Judy and Bill Watson Chamber Music Hall in October featured the resident Mendelssohn String Quartet premiering a new work by guest composer William Bolcom.
  • The NCSA Percussion Ensemble was featured at the annual Percussive Arts Conference in Louisville, collaborating with the NCSA School of Dance.
  • NCSA's Solisti Symphony was invited to participate in the centennial celebration of the Wright Brothers' first flight in Kitty Hawk, performing a new multimedia work composed for the occasion by Lawrence Dillon.
  • An ongoing collaboration with the New World Symphony was successfully launched, in which NCSA students received coachings, professional advice and auditions via Internet 2 technology.
  • The Fletcher Opera Institute presented two outstanding productions of major repertoire: Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia."
  • The first annual North Carolina Symphony Concerto Competition for NCSA students was held in March.
  • An historic collaboration between the NCSA Symphony Orchestra and the Triangle Chamber Orchestra featured a performance of Stravinsky's "Le sacre du printemps." NCSA students were invited to perform for the first time on the floor of the North Carolina Senate in May.

Upon passing the future of the school into Dean Clark's hands in August, Dillon said, "It has been a great honor and privilege to serve this unique institution, and a particular pleasure to come to know all of the people behind the scenes who make everything we do possible."

CHAMBER MUSIC OF LAWRENCE DILLON RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS

"Chamber Music of Lawrence Dillon," a recording featuring performances by the Borromeo, Cassatt and Mendelssohn String Quartets along with flutist Ransom Wilson and bassoonist Jeff Keesecker, has been garnering rave reviews from critics around the country. American Record Guide called it "lovely...austere...vivid and impressive." CVNC cited the recording as "delightful and engaging...inventive and skillfully scored...fascinating and imaginative." In NewMusicBox, Amanda MacBlane commented on a "pure mode of expression that layers lines so gracefully they seem to play themselves with an energetic fervor. Dillon's painterly style carefully colors phrases with glissandi and subtle accents underneath an intricate tapestry of sound." And Robert Carl, critic for Fanfare Magazine, wrote, "Rich, full-blooded, stylistically uninhibited...[the] performances are knockouts...[Dillon's] fast music is great,[but] it's the slow movements which really get to me: that of the bassoon quintet is really haunting, and the nocturne that ends the string quartet is similar - it makes me hang on every note, and hate to see it go."

"Chamber Music of Lawrence Dillon" is available from Albany Records at http://www.albanyrecords.com.

Jeffrey James Arts Consulting
Jeffrey James,   President
45 Grant Ave.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Tel & Fax: 516-586-3433   E-mail: jamesarts@worldnet.att.net

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