Practicalities, looks at aspects of the working life of Douglas Lilburn the composer. Writing music for film, theatre and radio, and the creative partnerships with Dame Ngaio Marsh, Richard Campion… Audio
Douglas Lilburn drew great strength and inspiration from the natural world around him. In the third episode, Nature, Douglas's family and friends discuss his sensitivity to nature and geography, and… Audio
In the fourth episode, Methods, we look at how Douglas Lilburn got things done. From piano lessons at an early age, through to the setting up of the Electronic Music Studio at Victoria University… Audio
This episiode looks at the practical side of Douglas Lilburn the teacher, musician and mentor. His physical appearance and the onset of old age which affected his hearing, sight, and ability to play… Audio
From the early years in the idyllic setting of Drysdale Station, to the dramatic landscapes of the South Island and the primordial terrain of the central North Island, this episode looks at the… Audio, Gallery
In the seventh episode, Relationships, Douglas Lilburn's friends and family reflect on how he related to people - from his relationship with his parents, to his abiding friendships over the years, the… Audio
In Withdrawing, friends and family of Douglas Lilburn reflect on his last years. After retiring from university teaching at the end of 1979, he also retired from composing. He spent the next 20 years… Audio
Douglas Lilburn was born in Wanganui in 1915. He moved to Christchurch to study at Canterbury University College, and went on to 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 the following year, and worked in Christchurch as a freelance composer and teacher.
In 1947 Douglas Lilburn shifted to Wellington to take up a position at Victoria University, and moved up the ranks to a Professor. In 1966 Lilburn founded the Electronic Music Studio at the University and was its Director until 1979, a year before his retirement.
He was presented with the Composers’ Association of New Zealand (CANZ) Citation for Services to New Zealand Music in 1978. In 1988 he was awarded the Order of New Zealand. 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.
Archival recordings supplied by Nga Taonga Sound & Vision.