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Larry Pruden


Born: 1925 Died: 1982


Larry Pruden was born in New Plymouth on 28th July 1925. He began learning the piano at about age 8, became church organist at 13 and joined the music staff of New Plymouth Boy's High School in 1940 as a piano teacher. His first known composition dates from 1938; at this stage his musical mentor was the well-known blind organist and composer Joseph Papaesch, his uncle. Apart from contact with Douglas Lilburn at Cambridge Music Schools from 1947, he was self-taught in composition until granted a bursary for study in England.

Pruden attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London from 1951-1954, where he studied composition, conducting and percussion. In 1952 he joined Benjamin Frankel's composition class which also contained David Farquhar, Edwin Carr and Robert Burch. While there he also met and married his wife Penny.

Returning to New Zealand he settled in Wellington in 1955, employed in various capacities by NZ Broadcasting until 1975, when he went to Dunedin as Mozart Fellow at Otago University. During all of this time he was also involved in tutoring composition at summer music schools, conducting, writing programme notes and introducing radio programmes.

Since 1977 he freelanced as a composer and conductor in Wellington until his death on October 1, 1982.

Composed (36)


for orchestra, 11m

2XP 10th Anniversary Fanfare

for brass quintet and side drum


for violin and piano


for orchestra, 5m

Birthday Disguises

for string orchestra

Cambridge Fanfare

for brass ensemble and percussion

Cambridge Medley

for percussion quintet


for solo piano

Children's Suite

for string orchestra

Dances of Brittany

for string orchestra, 10m

Evening Music for a Summer School

for chamber orchestra


for brass sextet and timpani

Fanfare ('65)

for brass sextet and two percussionists

Fantasia in Four Parts

for solo piano

Festival Salute

for wind band

Flight of the Albatross

for violin and piano

Haast Highway

for brass band, 6m

Harbour Nocturne

for small orchestra, 7m

Lambton Quay

for orchestra, 9m

Lambton Quay

for brass band, 5m

March: Lambton Quay

for orchestra, 9m

New Year Fanfare

for brass ensemble and two percussion

Night Song

for string orchestra, 6m

Overture: The Antipodes

for orchestra


for violin and piano


for string orchestra

Russell Square

for jazz quartet

Santa Lucia

for solo violin and chamber orchestra, 4m

Soliloquy for Strings

for string orchestra, 7m

String Trio

for violin, viola and cello, 24m

Summer Nocturnes

for chamber orchestra

Taranaki Overture

for orchestra, 11m

Waves of the Pacific

for solo piano

Arranged (2)

God Save the Queen - Larry Pruden

arranged for chamber orchestra

Imperial Salute of Iran - Larry Pruden

arranged for full orchestra