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Red Contributor


Douglas Lilburn

Composer, Arranger

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Born: 1915 Died: 2001 Website  External link

Biography

Douglas Lilburn was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, in 1915. He attended Waitaki Boys' High School from 1930 to 1933, before moving to Christchurch to study at Canterbury University College (1934-6). In 1937 he began studying at the Royal College of Music, London. He was tutored in composition by Ralph Vaughan Williams and remained at the College until 1939.

He returned to New Zealand in 1940 and was guest conductor in Wellington for three months with the NBS String Orchestra. He shifted to Christchurch in 1941 and worked as a freelance composer and teacher until 1947. Between 1946 and 1949 and again in 1951, Lilburn was Composer-in-Residence at the Cambridge Summer Music Schools.

In 1947 Douglas Lilburn shifted to Wellington to take up a position at Victoria University as part-time tutor in music. He was appointed full-time Lecturer in 1949 and Senior Lecturer in 1955. In 1963 he was made Associate Professor of Music and was appointed Professor with a personal chair in Music in 1970. In 1966 Lilburn founded the Electronic Music Studio at the university and was its Director until 1979, a year before his retirement. Lilburn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Otago in 1969 and in 1978 was presented with the Composers' Association of New Zealand (CANZ) Citation for Services to New Zealand Music. In 1988 he was awarded the Order of New Zealand.

Prizes and Scholarships include: Percy Grainger Competition, 1936, for his tone poem 'Forest'; Cobbett Prize, Royal College of Music, 1939 for 'Phantasy for String Quartet'; Foli Scholarship and Hubert Parry Prize, Royal College of Music, 1939; three out of four of the prizes in the New Zealand National Centennial Music Celebrations Competitions, 1940; the Philip Neill Memorial Prize 1944. Douglas Lilburn was founder of Waiteata Press Music Editions in 1967 and founder of the Lilburn Trust of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, 1984. His writings include 'A search for tradition', a talk given at the first Cambridge Summer School of Music in January 1946 (Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington 1984) and 'A search for language', a University of Otago Open Lecture, March 1969 (Alexander Turnbull Library, 1985).

Douglas Lilburn, described as "the elder statesman of New Zealand music" and the "grandfather of New Zealand music," died peacefully at his home in Wellington on 6 June 2001.

[More information about Lilburn's music for film can be found on the NZ Film Archive and NZ Onscreen websites.]


Composed (160)

"Short Piece"

for piano, 1m


"Untitled Piece" (1965)

for piano, 3m


'Six Short Pieces'

for piano, 7m


'Untitled Piece' (1981)

for solo piano


A Birthday Offering

for orchestra, 11m


A Song of Islands

for orchestra, 16m


Adagio Sostenuto

for piano


Allegro

for piano, 1m


Allegro Concertante

for violin and piano, 14m


Andante

for piano


Andante

for piano, 1m


Andante Commodo

for piano


Andante sostenuto

for piano


Bagatelle No. 1

for piano


Bagatelle No. 2

for piano, 2m 30s


Bagatelle No. 3

for piano


Bagatelle No. 5

for piano


Cambridge Overture

for string orchestra, 9m


Canon for Six Hands

for piano - 6 hands


Canon for Two Clarinets

for two clarinets


Canzona 1

for string orchestra, 4m


Canzona 2

for string orchestra, 3m


Canzona 2

for solo violin and string quartet, 3m


Canzona 3

for string orchestra, 2m


Canzona 4

for string orchestra, 2m


Canzonetta No. 3

for violin and viola


Canzonetta No.1

for violin and viola, 3m


Canzonetta No.2

for violin and viola, 1m 15s


Carousel

for tape, 11m


Chaconne

for piano, 18m


Christmas 1812

for piano


Cicadas, Oscillators and Treefrogs

eectroacoustic medium, mono channel, 3m


Concert Overture in D

for string orchestra, 7m


Crotchety at 51

for piano


Dance Sequence for Expo '70

for tape (sounds of NZ birdsong), 11m


Desdemona's Song

arranged by David Farquhar for solo guitar from Lilburn's music for " The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree.." composed for Ngaio Marsh's production of Shakespeare's "Othello", 1m


Desdemona's Song

arrangement for solo guitar by John Couch, 2m


Diversions

for string orchestra, 15m


Drysdale Overture

for orchestra, 10m


Duos

for two violins, 18m


Elegy

a song cycle for baritone and piano, 17m


Elegy (i.m. Noel Newson)

for two voices (soprano, alto) and strings, 14m


Festival Overture

for orchestra, 8m


Five Preludes 1942

for piano


Five Toronto Pieces (1963)

Electro-acoustic (binaural), 19m


Flourish

for piano, 1m


Forest

for orchestra - a tone poem, 16m


Four Canzonas

arranged for guitar by Gunter Herbig


Four Preludes 1941

for piano


Four Preludes 1944

for piano, 4m


Fragments of a Poem

For tape (mono), 7m


Fred's Birthday

for piano


Gamelan for Six Hands

for piano - 6 hands


Glass Music

Stereo recording of a variety of wind-chimes, 6m


God Save

for tape (mono), 1m


Grand Canyon Uprun Suite

for wind quartet, 11m


Holiday Piece

for medium voice and piano


Hommage à D.A.F.

for piano


Incidental Music to Shakespeare's Othello

for violin, piano and narrator


Introduction and Allegro for Strings

for string orchestra, 9m


Lady Wood's Fancie

for piano, 2m


Landfall in Unknown Seas

for string orchestra and narrator, 18m


Lines and Distances

for tape (four channel), 16m


Moths and Candles

for piano, 2m


Musical-boxes

for piano


Nine Short Pieces

for piano, 12m


Of Time and Nostalgia

for tape, 11m


Overture: Aotearoa

for orchestra, 8m


Phantasy

for string quartet


Piece '81

for piano, 4m


Piece for Guitar no. 1

for solo guitar


Piece for Guitar no. 2

for solo guitar


Poco Lento

for piano


Poem in Time of War

for tape, 17m


Prelude (1948)

for solo piano


Prelude 1

for piano


Prelude 1948

for piano, 2m


Prelude 1950

for piano


Prelude 1951

for piano, 3m


Prelude 2

for piano, 1m


Processional Fanfare

for 3 trumpets and organ, 8m


Processional Fanfare

arrangement for three trumpets and small orchestra, 4m


Prodigal Country

for baritone, SATB chorus and orchestra


Quartet for Brass

for 2 trumpets, horn and trombone, 8m


Rondino

for piano


Salutes to Seven Poets

for violin, piano, and narrator, 29m


Salutes to Seven Poets

arranged by Donald Maurice for viola, piano and narrator, 29m


Seventeen Pieces for Guitar

for guitar, 19m


Sings Harry

a song cycle for tenor and guitar, 10m


Sings Harry

song cycle for baritone and piano, 10m


Sings Harry

a song cycle for tenor and piano, 10m


Sings Harry

a song cycle for baritone and guitar


Sonata 1949

for piano, 17m


Sonata 1950

for violin and piano, 12m


Sonata 1956

for piano, 18m


Sonata in A minor

for piano, 22m


Sonata in C

for violin and piano


Sonata in E Flat

for violin and piano


Sonatina No. 1

for solo piano


Sonatina No. 2

arrangement for orchestra of Lilburn's piano work


Sonatina No. 2

for piano, 8m


Sonatina No.1

for piano, 9m


Sounds and Distances

electroacoustic work for four channels, 10m


String Quartet in E minor

for string quartet, 19m


String Trio

for violin, viola and cello, 17m


Study from One Note

for tape (binaural), 4m


Summer Voices

for tape, 6m


Summer's Sadness

For baritone and piano


Symphony No. 1

for orchestra, 30m


Symphony No. 2

for orchestra, 29m


Symphony No. 3

for orchestra, 16m


Tempo di Bolero

for piano - 6 hands


The First Two Years at School

Incidental music for a National Film Unit documentary on philosophies of early-childhood education


The Magpies

for SSABar choir and piano


The Return

for tape, 17m


Three Inscapes

for tape, 12m


Three Pieces

for piano


Three Poems of the Sea

for strings and narrator, 10m


Three Sea Changes

for piano, 8m


Three Songs

for voice and piano, 8m


Three Studies for Gustav Ciamaga

For tape (mono), 9m


Toronto Tailfeather

For tape (binaural), 1m


Triptych

for tape, 11m


Two Christmas Pieces for L.B.

for piano, 2m 30s


Two Diversions

for piano


Two Preludes 1951

for piano, 3m


Variations on a Theme by Douglas Lilburn

Theme and variations for solo piano


Vivace

for piano


Welcome Stranger

electroacoustic (stereo) for ballet, 27m


Wind Quintet

for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, 11m


Winterset

for tape, 10m



Arranged (1)

Four Canzonas

arranged for guitar by Gunter Herbig



Recordings (34)

elegy

Not applicable


Island Song

Not applicable


Lilburn: Three Symphonies

Not applicable


Symphony of Sails

Not applicable


Wild Music

Not applicable



Resources (42)

Aspiring

Documentary


Canzona 2002 vol 23 no 44

Commentary or analysis


Canzona 2005 vol 26 no 47

Commentary or analysis


Canzona 2006 vol 26 no 47

Commentary or analysis


Canzona May 1985 vol 7 no 20

Commentary or analysis


Crescendo No. 59, August 2001

Commentary or analysis


How to Hear Classical Music

Commentary or analysis


Low Noise2: documentary

Media on demand