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Douglas Lilburn Complete Piano Music

Oct 12th, 2009

HAVING COMPLETED the first five volumes of the historically important Larry Pruden Collected Edition, Promethean Editions is beginning work on the publication of another important collection, the complete piano works of Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001). Lilburn occupies a pre-eminent position in New Zealand music, with a legacy extending well beyond his compositional output. As a composer, a teacher, and later as an encouraging background presence, he presided in innumerable ways over the artistic growth of this country. His music, from the early works redolent of the influence of Sibelius and Vaughan Williams, to the electro-acoustic pieces of his later years, makes up a corpus of works that has been instrumental in establishing a genuinely vernacular voice in New Zealand classical music.

The youngest of seven children, Douglas Lilburn spent his early years on Drysdale, the family sheep station in the central North Island. After winning a prize offered by Percy Grainger for a new New Zealand orchestral piece, he enrolled in 1937 at the Royal College of Music in London, where his teachers included R.O. Morris and Vaughan Williams. On his return to New Zealand he taught composition at the Cambridge Summer Music Schools, and in 1947 joined the staff of the newly-established music faculty at Victoria University of Wellington. Here, until his retirement in 1981, he established a centre for composition, bringing to his own music and to his students the fruits of his investigations into international trends in contemporary composition. He established Waiteata Music Press in 1967, and in 1984 founded the Lilburn Trust, which continues to support and promote New Zealand Music.

The collection will draw on the expertise of Series Editor Robert Hoskins, who contributed in the same capacity to the Pruden Collected Edition. Hoskins will be joined by Contributing Editor Rod Biss. As well as being a composer himself, Biss has extensive experience in the publishing industry, having worked for Schott London and later Production Director of Faber Music, and one of the co-founders of Price Milburn Music Ltd. Biss is well-known in New Zealand as a discerning reviewer and music journalist for many of the country?s most prominent magazines and newspapers. Biss and Hoskins work alongside an editorial panel yet to be confirmed.

The complete works will encompass some 26 individual standalone works and suites (the Occasional Pieces for Piano suite alone includes some twenty short works), over three volumes of music. The first two volumes will be released in late 2009, with the remaining four volumes expected by the end of 2010. The series will also comprise of a best of collection and a special version with edited selections for young players.

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The mission of Promethean Editions is to bring the fire of new, fresh and exciting contemporary music to performers and audiences throughout the world. Promethean Editions is a member of the Music Publishers Association (UK), and a Publisher Member of APRA/AMCOS.



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