Douglas Lilburn

Douglas Gordon Lilburn

Songbroker Music Publishing is very proud to announce that it now represents the music of New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn, for the benefit of the Lilburn Trust.

Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001) has been described as "the elder statesman of New Zealand music" and the "grandfather of New Zealand music."

Lilburn's body of music, from early orchestral works such as Overture Aotearoa to his extensive legacy of piano pieces and later electroacoustic compositions, has a strong emotional appeal. It acknowledges the richness of a predominantly European musical heritage while finding a distinctively New Zealand voice. He composed over 200 musical works.

The copyright in Lilburn’s music is held by the Alexander Turnbull Library Endowment Trust, with proceeds used by the Lilburn Trust, established by the composer in 1984, to further the growth and development of New Zealand music. The Lilburn Trust has supported publications, concerts, awards, and other initiatives, including the Lilburn Research Fellowship and annual Lilburn Lecture, both recent collaborations with the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington (part of the National Library of New Zealand). 

Douglas Lilburn was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, in 1915, and tutored in composition at the Royal College of Music, London, by Ralph Vaughan Williams. From 1949 until 1980, he taught music at Victoria University, establishing the Electronic Music Studio there in 1964 and becoming a full professor in 1970.  In 1988 Lilburn was awarded the Order of New Zealand. He was posthumously inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2014. 

Lilburn’s contribution to New Zealand music extended far beyond his own compositions. He helped represent New Zealand composers within APRA from the 1950s, campaigning against a misguided copyright act in 1959. In 1974, he was involved in establishing the Archive of New Zealand Music at the Alexander Turnbull Library.

For all enquiries relating to the licensing, publishing and public use of Douglas Lilburn’s music, please contact Jan Hellriegel at Songbroker on (+64) 9 846 8892, email here 

To listen to Lilburn’s Overture : Aotearaa from the Radio NZ archive, click here.

To listen to Lilburn’s Forest from the Radio NZ archive, click here.

Listen to Lilburn: Music for Solo Piano (Rattle Records):