About the Lilburn Residence



The former home of composer Douglas Lilburn (ONZ) in Thorndon, Wellington has for nearly 10 years been offered as a residence for New Zealand composers. The property is administered by the Lilburn Residence Trust, who ensure that the property is used in a manner befitting the legacy of New Zealand's most important composer of the 20th century.

The Trust normally offers use of the house to the composer holding the Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music (NZSM). If that composer does not require the house, then the Trust calls for applications from other New Zealand composers. Each composer lives in the house, paying a modest rent, for up to a year.

Find out about events celebrating the centenary of Lilburn's birth in 2015.

 4 November 6-7pm National Library, Molesworth Street, Wellington
The annual Lilburn Lecture entitled A broader tradition, a broader language: locating the popular in New Zealand music will be given by Lilburn Research Fellow Chris Bourke.

13 November 7.30pm, Adam Concert Room, NZSM, WellingtonRemembering Lilburn – works written for/dedicated to Douglas Lilburn by his friends, students and colleagues.

Current resident


JohnElmsly90mmJohn Elmsly arrived in early July 2015 to take up residence and his position as the Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music.

John joins us not only at a time when we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lilburn's birth, but also the beginning of our 10th year as a composer residence.

During his year in Wellington, he is keen to strengthen his ties with Wellington-based performers and musical organisations, as well as to interact with people at the School of Music.

'I’m keen to explore as widely as possible ways to collaborate with film and video makers, writers and dancers,' he says. 'I also hope to have chances to compose for some of our younger and developing performers.'

John Elmsly is a distinguished composer, who recently retired from the University of Auckland after a long and successful teaching career specialising in composition. He is originally a graduate of Victoria University, where he began electronic music composition with Douglas Lilburn.

Find out more about other composers who have lived and worked at the Lilburn Residence.