Composer Lawrence Dillon creates music that embraces our moment with a deep connection to the past and an open-minded curiosity about the future. Writing about Dillon’s "Through the Night" (commissioned and premiered by the Emerson String Quartet) Stringendo called him “a superb composer… Dillon’s music is eminently approachable, intensely passionate and filled with surprises.”
Sly and mysterious…arresting and appealing… Just when you thought the string quartet may have reached the edge of sonic possibilities, along comes a composer who makes something novel, haunting and whimsical of the genre… Highly recommended.
Gramophone on "Insects and Paper Airplanes"
The music of composer Lawrence Dillon melds whimsy and mystery in an oddly irresistible fashion. His pieces have a magnetism that has earned him the attention and acclaim of the musical world, with famous ensembles commissioning works written by his award-winning hand.
In addition to being a remarkably skilled composer, he is one of the greatest teachers and mentors I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Dr. Dillon is a tireless advocate for his students, providing them with every imaginable opportunity for performances, recordings, and exposure to current trends and notable figures in the art form.
He arranges recording sessions with professional ensembles and even extends these opportunities to the undergraduates. I gather that these kinds of opportunities are incredibly rare for students of composition at other institutions across the country, and I feel truly privileged to have been afforded them through his efforts.
He is a guide, a sounding board, a sharp set of ears and eyes for [his students’] work, a balancing force … and a professional model in every way.
As one of the foremost American composers of contemporary concert music, Dillon's understanding of the craft of composition is without parallel; however, he always pairs that understanding with an attitude of guidance and nurturing.
Dillon has as much concern for the long-term needs of the student's creativity as he has for the immediate needs of the work-in-progress.
As a teacher, he cultivates composers as well as compositions.
When I recommend UNCSA's music program to a student, I do so in no small part because of Dillon's presence there.
Dr. Dillon has served as a transformational force in my creative life, providing – more than any other source – the means by which I grew as a composer and artist.
I have difficulty imagining where I would be today without his help – but I suspect it’s a place I would prefer not to be.
- Guest composer residencies include Curtis Institute of Music, SUNY Stony Brook, Wintergreen Summer Arts Festival, Charles Ives Center, Saugatuck Festival, Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, Killington Festival, The Colburn School of Music, Seisen International School, St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, The Hartt School of Music, Indiana University, Charlotte New Music Festival, Boise State University, University of California Sacramento, Eastern Michigan University, Eastern Carolina University and The Buckley School
- Commissions include Emerson String Quartet, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Louisville Orchestra, Wintergreen Summer Arts Festival, Daedalus String Quartet, Idyllwild Symphony, Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, Salt Lake Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Low and Lower, University of Utah, Danielle Belén, Killington Festival, Illuminations Festival, Elaine Richey, Winston-Salem Symphony, Bluthner Piano Series and Carolina Chamber Symphony
Awards, Recognitions & Honors
- First Prize, Ravinia Festival Composer Competition
- Berlin Prize
- Gretchaninoff Prize
- North Carolina Artist Fellowship
- International Horn Society
- Fanfare Magazine Want List
- Masterprize (special commendation)
- American Music Center
- Featured Composer, Chamber Music Magazine
- National Endowment for the Arts
- Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust
- Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
- The Jerome Foundation
- The Pew Charitable Trusts
- Contemporary Record Society
- ASCAP Young Composer Award