1 Mar 2015

Douglas Lilburn's Christchurch Years

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 1 March 2015

In 2015 we celebrated 100 years since pioneering New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn's birth.

PAColl
Douglas Lilburn at his piano (195-?) © Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference: PAColl-7737-3-04 All rights reserved.

Lilburn’s biographer Philip Norman looks at the music from Lilburn’s early composing career, when he was based in Christchurch.

Percy Grainger expedited Lilburn’s composing career by offering prize money for a “typical New Zealand composition”, which Lilburn went on to win. As Philip Norman explains in the programme, this was somewhat surprising for the following reasons:

Lilburn was a third year music student at Canterbury University College at the time the competition was announced. He had never heard a symphony orchestra live, and had composed nothing to suggest he even had any aptitude for composing.

Music Details:

LILBURN: Drysdale Overture - New Zealand SO/ John Hopkins (Kiwi CD SLD 100)
LILBURN: Forest - New Zealand SO/ James Judd (Naxos 8.557697)
LILBURN: Symphony No 2, mvt 1 - New Zealand SO/ John Hopkins (Continuum CCD 1069)
LILBURN: Prelude No 1 of 4 - Georgina Zellan-Smith (pno) (Ode CD MANU 5101)
LILBURN: Poco Lento - Michael Houstoun (pno) (Rattle RAT D040)
LILBURN: Aotearoa - New Zealand SO/ James Judd (Naxos 8.557697)
LILBURN: Festival Overture - Orchestra Wellington/ Kenneth Young (Vector Wgtn Orch VWO 001)
LILBURN: Diversions - New Zealand SO/ John Hopkins (Kiwi CD SLD 99)
LILBURN: Festival Overture - Orchestra Wellington/ Kenneth Young (Vector Wgtn Orch VWO 001)
LILBURN: Symphony No 2, mvt 1 - New Zealand SO/ James Judd (Naxos 8.555862)
LILBURN: Symphony No 2, mvt 2 - New Zealand SO/ James Judd (Naxos 8.555862)
LILBURN: Song of Islands - New Zealand SO/ Hamish McKeich (Trust MMT 2059)
LILBURN: Allegro for Strings - New Zealand SO/ John Hopkins (Kiwi CD SLD 99)
LILBURN: Symphony No 1, mvt 1 - New Zealand SO/ John Hopkins (Continuum CCD 1069)