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Michael Houstoun Honoured For Services To NZ Music

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release 3 December 2008

Michael Houstoun Honoured For Services To NZ Music

Michael Houstoun has received a citation (together with a cash grant) from the Lilburn Trust for outstanding services to New Zealand music. The Lilburn Trust is a charitable trust established by Douglas Lilburn in 1984 with the Alexander Turnbull Library Endowment Trust. It funds the Lilburn Trust Student Composer Awards at universities and for more than 20 years has supplied grants to performers, composers, authors, filmmakers, record companies and oral historians to help promote New Zealand’s musical arts, to advance musical knowledge and appreciation, and to preserve musical archives.

Michael Houstoun began piano lessons when he was five years old. His first teacher was Sister Mary Eulalie followed by concert pianist, accompanist and teacher, Maurice Till. By the time Michael was 18 he had won every major piano competition in New Zealand.

From 1974 until 1981 he studied overseas at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and in London. He performed during this time in the USA, UK, Germany and Holland.

Since 1981 Michael has lived and worked in New Zealand performing also in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. His repertoire is wide-ranging and often includes works by New Zealand composers.

Michael won the Turnovsky Prize in 1982, and in May 1999, Houstoun received an honorary doctorate in literature from Massey University. He was made a laureate of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2007.

Other highlights of his career include recording the Beethoven piano sonatas; collaborating with Tainui Stephens on a television programme about Liszt called, 'Icon in B minor' and performances with conductors Eduardo Mata, Neville Marriner, Franz Paul Decker and Alexander Lazarev. In 2005 he was the subject of a documentary, 'Piano Man'.

Michael often adjudicates for music competitions in New Zealand and is Patron of the Nelson School of Music, the Regent on Broadway theatre in Palmerston North, the Piano Tuners and Technicians Guild of New Zealand, the New Zealand Music Examinations Board and the Kerikeri National Piano Competition.

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