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Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001)

Belinda Vernon National Arts Culture and Heritage Spokesperson

6 June 2001

Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001)

National's Arts Culture and Heritage spokesperson Belinda Vernon says the death of one of New Zealand's most highly regarded composers, Douglas Lilburn, is an occasion of great sadness.

"Douglas Lilburn devoted his life to music, composing his first piano sonata as a teenager in 1932. In the years which followed he developed a reputation both here and abroad as a gifted composer whose music evoked his love of New Zealand and its landscapes.

"Douglas Lilburn achieved true greatness in works such as 'Landfall in Unknown Seas' and his 'Aotearoa Overture' which was performed in London in 1940 to mark our country's centenary. All New Zealanders can genuinely take pride in his achievements as a composer and as a New Zealander. This was recognised in 1988 when he was awarded the Order of New Zealand.

"Douglas Lilburn played a prime role in establishing a New Zealand music tradition and putting New Zealand music on the world map," Belinda Vernon said.

Ends

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