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A Clean Sweep For Douglas Lilburn Prize Winner

30 April 2004
Media release


The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Concert FM are pleased to announce that Wellington-based composer, Michael Norris has been named winner of the prestigious Douglas Lilburn Prize at the NZSO's Made in New Zealand concert in Wellington tonight. The special Orchestra prize and the Audience prize were also awarded to Norris for his work, Rays of the Sun, Shards of the Moon. This initiative was a joint project of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Concert FM.

This competition, which is dedicated to the memory of the composer known as the 'father of New Zealand Music', resulted in four innovative New Zealand compositions being performed throughout the country as part of the NZSO's Concert Season 2003.

The final compositions were assessed by a combination of audience votes from concert-goers and radio listeners, and a panel from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, including Music Director James Judd, and senior staff from Concert FM.

Thirty-one New Zealand composers entered new eight-to-twelve minute symphonic scores in the competition. From these, the four finalists selected were Lucy Mulgan - Cape Reinga, Craig Utting - Cirrus, Anthony Young - Mamaku and Michael Norris - Rays of the Sun, Shards of the Moon.

Beyond the main prize of $10,000 plus a commission to write a new score for performance by the NZSO, Mr Norris also won the special Orchestra Prize of $1,000, decided on votes from amongst Orchestra players as the piece they most enjoyed performing as well as a further $1,000 as winner of the public vote, the Audience Prize.

Making the announcement Peter Walls said, "This is the second time that we have run this competition in association with Concert FM. It has attracted a lot of interest from which four quite special works were chosen as finalists. It is great to see such a wealth of creativity in contemporary New Zealand society."

Concert FM Production Manager, Kate Mead said, " as it turned out the panel of experts, the Orchestra and the NZSO's and Concert FM's audiences (who appreciate absolutely the sound of good music) were in total agreement. Michael Norris was the runaway winner of the Douglas Lilburn Prize 2004. Congratulations!"

After graduating from Victoria University, Dunedin-born Michael Norris won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the City University, London where he completed an MA in Electroacoustic Composition with distinction. His music has received performances in London, Birmingham, Wales, France and Montreal as well as in New Zealand. Michael was a finalist in the Music Prize 2000. In 2001, Michael was Composer-in-Residence with the Southern Sinfonia in Dunedin and in 2002, was awarded the Mozart Fellowship at the University of Otago.


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