Douglas Lilburn

Lilburn Lecture

Breath of the Birds - The Revival of Taonga Puoro by Dame Gillian Whitehead (2019)

Esteemed New Zealand composer Dame Gillian Whitehead, DMus, DNZM, MNZM (Ngāi te Rangi) spoke about the origin of ngā taonga puoro, their revival, and how she has used these traditional Māori musical instruments in her work. The lecture included a performance by NZSO principal flautist, Bridget Douglas and taonga puoro performer and researcher, Alistair Fraser. Three times winner of the SOUNZ Contemporary Award and the 2018 recipient of the Arts Foundation Arts Icon Award, Gillian Whitehead's work has been recognised internationally for several decades. Often working collaboratively with artists from various disciplines, Gillian has also frequently incorporated taonga puoro and Māori themes into her work. The lecture took place on 1 November 2019 at Taiwhanga Kauhau, National Library, Wellington and was recorded by RNZ.

Wide Blows Our Banner: How far have women composers in New Zealand come since Suffrage? by Eve de Castro‐Robinson (2018)

Celebrated composer Eve de Castro‐Robinson asked how much progress women composers in New Zealand have made since the granting of equal voting rights 125 years ago. Reflecting on changes in New Zealand's musical and socio‐political culture, de Castro‐Robinson considered her own journey as a female composer from the mid‐1980s onward. Eve de Castro‐Robinson is one of New Zealand's foremost composers, whose works have been widely performed. She has made many contributions to New Zealand music, including as a trustee of SOUNZ and is currently Associate Professor in Composition at the University of Auckland. The lecture took place on 2 November 2018 in the National Library Auditorium and was recorded by RNZ.

Click to listen to Eve's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

Searching for Voice, Searching for Reo by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal (2017)

Acclaimed musician and composer Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal (Marutūahu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngā Puhi) will discuss his journey as a composer, giving expression to his twin passions of music composition and mātauranga Māori creativity. The lecture took place on 2 November 2017 and was recorded by RNZ.

Click to listen to Charles's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

Prosaic notes from an unwritten journal by Jenny McLeod (2016)

Acclaimed composer Jenny McLeod surveys her life's work and experience in relation to her friend Douglas Lilburn's manifestos of New Zealand musical identity, A Search for Tradition (1946) and A Search for a Language (1969). The lecture took place on 2 November 2016 and was recorded by RNZ.

Click to listen to Jenny's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

A Broader Tradition, a Broader Language by Chris Bourke (2015)

Marking the 100th anniversary of Lilburn's birth – music historian Chris Bourke discussed the place of local popular music in New Zealand. Bourke considered the ideas discussed by Lilburn in his celebrated talks A Search for Tradition and A Search for a Language: are they still relevant, and can they be answered by popular music? The lecture took place on 4 November 2015 and was recorded by RNZ.

Click to listen to Chris's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

Signatures and Footprints by William Dart (2014)

Titled Signatures and Footprints, William Dart talked about the complexity of securing identity and individuality. He drew on historian E.H. McCormick's essay from 1960 — Distance Looks Our Way: The Effects of Remoteness on New Zealanders — and how, even in our time of instant global communication, his words still resonate.

Click to listen to William's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.

Plato's Cave: Realities of Composing In New Zealand by Philip Norman (2013)

The inaugural Lilburn Lecture was given by Dr. Philip Norman in the Hunter Council Chamber, Victoria University, Wellington on 2 November 2013.

Click to listen to Philip's lecture, courtesy of RNZ Concert.