Dillon, James (b. October 29, 1950, Glasgow, Scotland). Esteemed British composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works that have been performed throughout the world.
Mr. Dillon is self-taught as a composer. He had early experiences with traditional bagpipe music and in the late 1960s, he played with his band Influx. He studied art and design at the Glasgow School of Art in 1968, linguistics at the University College of London in 1970 and piano with Eleanor Purse in 1970–71. Later, he studied acoustics at the University of North London in 1971, Indian rhythm with Punita Gupta in 1971–72 and mathematics with Gordon Millar at the Tavistock Institute in London in 1972 and attended computer-music seminars at IRCAM in 1984–85.
He has earned many honors, including First Prize in the competition of the Huddersfield Festival (1978) and the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at Darmstadt (1982) and he was named Classical Musician of the Year by the Sunday Times in London (1989). More recent awards include a fellowship from the Japan Foundation (1996) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award (1998, for Traumwerk, Book 1; 2003, for Book of Elements 5; 2006, for String Quartet No. 4), as well as the prize International Distinguished Fellow from New York University (2001) and numerous commissions from the European City of Culture. His music has been heard at major festivals throughout the world, including the Huddersfield (1983, 1996), the Musica in Strasbourg (1990, 2002) and the Tage für Neue Musik in Zürich (2001–02). In addition, retrospectives of his work have been given in Paris (1985), Oslo (1989), Toulouse (1991), Brussels (1992), and New York City (2001).
Mr. Dillon taught at Darmstadt from 1982–92, directed the composition faculty at the Gothenburg Summer Academy in 1991 and served as co-composer-in-residence with Brian Ferneyhough at Royaumont in 1996. He taught as a guest composer at Goldsmiths College at the University of London in 1989–90 and 1991–92 and at the University of Central England in Birmingham in 1993–94 and 1995–96. He has taught at the University of Minnesota since 2007. He has guest-lectured in Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA, including at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2003.
Edition Peters publishes his music.
Street address: Mr. James Dillon, c/o Edition Peters, 10–12 Baches St., London N1 6DN, UK
COMPLETE LIST OF WORKS
STAGE: Philomela (music/théâtre in 5 acts, text by the composer, after Sophocles, Thales, Eva Hesse, R. Buckminster Fuller), soprano, mezzo-soprano, bass-baritone, small orchestra (18 players), tape, live electronics, 2002–04
ORCHESTRAL: Windows and Canopies, small orchestra (20 players), 1985; Überschreiten, small orchestra (16 players), 1986; helle Nacht, large orchestra (90 players), 1986–87; Introitus – Nine Rivers 8, 11/12 strings, tape, live electronics, 1989–90; ignis noster, large orchestra (100 players), 1991–92; Blitzschlag, flute, large orchestra (66 players), 1988–96; Via Sacra, large orchestra, 2000; Concerto, violin, large orchestra, 2000; La navette, large orchestra, 2000–01; Andromeda, piano, large orchestra, 2005–06
CHAMBER MUSIC: Crossing Over, clarinet, 1978; Ti.re-Ti.ke-Dha, drumkit, 1979; ...Once upon a Time, alto flute (+ piccolo), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, double bass, 1980; Parjanya-Vata, cello, 1981; East 11th St. NY 10003 – Nine Rivers 1, 6 percussion, 1982; String Quartet No. 1, 1983; Zone (...de azul), clarinet, French horn, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, piano, 1983; Le rivage, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), oboe, clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, bassoon, 1984; Sgothan, flute, 1984; Diffraction, piccolo, 1984; Shrouded Mirrors, guitar, 1988; Del Cuarto Elemento, violin, 1988; L'ÉCRAN parfum – Nine Rivers 2, 6 violins, 3 percussion, 1988; La femme invisible – Nine Rivers 4, flute (+ piccolo), alto flute (+ bass flute), oboe, English horn (+ oboe), clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 soprano saxophones (2nd + alto saxophone), piano, 3 percussion, 1989; L'uvre au Noir – Nine Rivers 6, bass flute (+ alto flute, piccolo, triangle), bassoon (+ contrabassoon, crotales), tenor-bass trombone, bass trombone, harp (+ sleigh bells), 2 celli (1st + rainstick, 2nd + crotales), double bass (+ sleigh bells), 2 percussion, live electronics, 1990; éileadh sguaibe – Nine Rivers 7, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, tenor-bass trombone, bass trombone, tuba, 2 percussion, live electronics, 1990; String Trio, violin, viola, cello, 1990–91; nuée, bass clarinet, 2 percussion ad libitum, 1991 (section of L'évolution du vol; may be performed separately); String Quartet No. 2, 1991
CHAMBER MUSIC: Siorram, viola, 1992; Lumen naturæ, violin, viola, cello, 1992; Vernal Showers, violin, ensemble (flute [+ piccolo, alto flute], oboe, harp, guitar, mandolin, viola, cello, double bass, harpsichord, percussion), 1992; l'ascension, 2 percussion, 1993 (section of L'évolution du vol; may be performed separately); le vent, l'arbre et le temps, double bass, 1993 (section of L'évolution du vol; may be performed separately); Redemption, clarinet, violin, piano, 1995; Traumwerk, Book 1, 2 violins, 1995–96; Todesengel, clarinet, vibraphone, 1996; String Quartet No. 3, 1998; Eos, cello, 1999; La coupure – Nine Rivers 5, percussion, live electronics, 1989–2000; Two Studies, accordion, 2001; Traumwerk, Book 2, violin, harpsichord, 2001; Traumwerk, Book 3, violin, piano, 2001–02; The Soadie Waste, piano, string quartet, 2002–03; String Quartet No. 4, 2003–04; The Hesperides, cello, piano, 2007; String Quartet No. 5, 2008–09
CHORAL: Viriditas – Nine Rivers 3, 16 mixed voices, 1993–94; Oceanos – Nine Rivers 9, 16 mixed voices, orchestra, live electronics, 1985–96; Hyades, 12 mixed voices, 1998; residue..., 24 mixed voices, 1998–99; Vapor Musik, 4 mixed voices, string quartet, 1999
VOCAL: Who do you love, female voice, flute (+ piccolo, bass flute), clarinet, violin (+ viola), cello, percussion, 1980–81; Evening Rain, any voice, 1981; Come live with me (text from the Song of Solomon [Hebrew translation]), female voice, flute (+ piccolo, alto flute), oboe (+ oboe d'amore, English horn), piano, percussion, 1981–82; A Roaring Flame (texts by Alexander Carmichael, Clara d'Anduza), female voice, double bass, 1981–82; Time Lag Zero, female voice, viola, 1982; L'évolution du vol, female voice (+ hurdy-gurdy), E-flat clarinet (+ bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet), double bass, piano (+ harmonium), 2 percussion, 1991–93 (sections 2-7 of its eight sections may be performed separately: l'homme et la vérité, female voice, piano; l'ascension; l'être-ange, female voice [+ hurdy-gurdy], E-flat clarinet; nuée; descente/désir, female voice, bass clarinet, double bass; le vent, l'arbre et le temps)
PIANO: Dillug-Kefitsah, 1976; Spleen, 1980; black/nebulae, 2 pianos, 1995; Book of Elements 1, 1997; Book of Elements 3, 2000; Book of Elements 2, 2001; Book of Elements 4, 2002; Book of Elements 5, 2002; Charm, 2009; Dragon-fly, 2009
HARPSICHORD: Birl, 1986
TV PRODUCTION (DIRECTOR): Temp'est, female voice, piccolo, flute, oboe, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, bass trombone, electric guitar, string quartet, double bass, piano, 2 percussion, 1994 (Simon Reynell)
(Last updated on March 16, 2010)