About the Lilburn Residence



The former home of composer Douglas Lilburn (ONZ) in Thorndon, Wellington has for more than 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.

Upcoming events

10 February 2016 5.30pm-6.45pm

Free lecture by Michael Brown, Curator of Music at the Alexander Turnbull Library: 
Couldn’t it have been the bagpipes? Reflections on the work of Douglas Lilburn

RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. including the name Michael Brown in the subject line.

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.