Douglas Lilburn

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Douglas Lilburn

Douglas Gordon Lilburn (born November 2, 1915 in Wanganui , † June 6, 2001 in Wellington ) was a New Zealand composer .


Lilburn grew up on the Drysdale farm in New Zealand's North Island . After studying music in Christchurch (where he won a composition prize initiated by Percy Grainger in 1936 ), he studied composition at the Royal College of London, with Ralph Vaughan Williams among others . In 1940 Lilburn returned to New Zealand and settled in Christchurch. In 1947 he came to teach at Victoria College , now the Victoria University of Wellington . There he held a professorship from 1970. Lilburn was instrumental in building New Zealand's musical life.


Lilburn's compositional style was initially strongly influenced by European late Romanticism . In the 1950s he also took up elements of twelve-tone music and serialism . After 1960 he hardly ever wrote works for conventional ensembles, but dealt almost exclusively with electronic music .

Works (selection)

  • Forest (Tone Poem) (1936)
  • Drysdale Overture (1937)
  • Cantata "Prodigal Country" (1939)
  • Festival Overture (1939)
  • Aotearoa Overture (1940)
  • A Song of Islands (Tone Poem) (1946)
  • 3 symphonies (1949, 1951, 1961)
  • numerous works for string orchestra

Web links