Discover Music from New Zealand

Classical Academy | 20th Century Period

You might not be familiar with the music of New Zealand - located in such an isolated spot on the globe, much of its music descended from Maori traditions and, for better or worse, European classical music took a long time to take root.


Composer Douglas Gordon Lilburn (1915 - 2001) is often credited as being the first composer to 'speak' with a truly New Zealand musical voice and gain international recognition for it. His work does have a distinct and original quality to it, infused with the essence of his homeland. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, tutored by none othen than Ralph Vaughan Williams to whom he often sent the gift of New Zealand honey for years to come.


Lilburn spent much of his career in Wellington at Victoria University where he also founded the first electronic music studio in Australasia in 1966. In 1988 he was awarded the Order of New Zealand.


Discover the natural beauty and New Zealand-esque quality of Lilburn's music on this fantastic album of three symphonies.


You can find out more about his tutor Vaughan Williams in our special article about the woman who inspired him.