1 Dec 2017

DOUGLAS LILBURN: Forest (introduction)

From Resound, 9:00 pm on 1 December 2017

Introduced by Kenneth Young.

Kenneth Young

Kenneth Young Photo: Deborah Rawson

If you’d been reading the New Zealand Record, a precursor to The New Zealand Listener, on Friday the 9th of October 1936 you would’ve come across an article that started like this:

"How would you like to take a delightful bush holiday and get twenty-five pounds for doing it? Sounds very attractive, of course, but there's really a good deal more to it than that. At any rate, it's happened, in a sense, to Mr. Douglas G. Lilburn, of 175 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch, a 20-year-old musician, who’s won the Percy Grainger competition for a New Zealand composer through his orchestra composition Forest.

The New Zealand Radio Record had the pleasure of informing Mr. Lilburn of his success and congratulating him on his win. He was naturally very pleased but took the news quite calmly withal. He told the Christchurch representative of the Radio Record that he was born at Wanganui and started piano practice at the age of eleven. At the moment he’s studying for the Bachelor of Music degree. There's nothing of the musicianly pose about this young man. He’s at present busy at Canterbury College, and hopes to complete at the end of this year, with England in view.

Forest, the winning composition, is, to use the young writer's own words, a 'tone poem for orchestra', but, he says he’s by no means satisfied with it yet. It took him eleven days to sketch out. He was on holidays at Peel Forest, South Canterbury - a favourite place for artists with pencil and brush - when he "got the idea", later to come under the eyes of the eminent overseas judge as prize-winner. His favourite composers are Bach, Beethoven, Sibelius and Brahms………"

Listen to Forest by Douglas Lilburn.

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