About the residents, and highlights of their stay

Gillian Whitehead

2005–2006: Dame Gillian Whitehead

Gillian, normally resident in Dunedin, was the first composer to stay at the Lilburn Residence. She helped to equip the house for composers and was a generous host who established a tradition of the regular social gatherings.

Gillian also:

  • completed Hineteiwaiwa, for taonga puoro, voice and 10 instruments
  • completed Karohirohi, for orchestra and harp for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Carolyn Mills
  • wrote a movement for the Davy Passion, a collaborative project with Wellington composers
  • began Puhake ki te rangi for taonga puoro and string quartet
  • was the subject of a documentary about her year at the residence, Gillian Whitehead – Composer in Residence directed and produced by Prue Donald of Wild Iris Productions
  • commissioned and donated a birdbath made by ceramic artist, Roberta McKoen.
Lyell Cresswell

2006–2007: Lyell Cresswell

Lyell and his wife Catherine came from Edinburgh to be in residence. They had an eventful year musically and socially. The Composers' Association of New Zealand hosted the Asia Pacific Festival and Conference, and SOUNZ hosted the International Association of Music Information Centres' Conference. Both events allowed many international musicians and composers to visit the house. Lyell and Catherine also became surrogate carers to a number of the neighbour's cats.

Lyell also:

  • completed Alas! How Swift, for trumpet and orchestra, premiered by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
  • completed Canterbury Rhymes, for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, premiered by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
  • completed Mezzotinto for solo piano, premiered by Stephen De Pledge
  • completed Two Pages for solo viola, premiered by Gillian Ansell
  • began The Perfect Woman, a short opera premiered by Scottish Opera
  • donated two orginal artworks by Italian artist, Maurizio Bottarelli.
Samuel Holloway

2007–2008: Samuel Holloway

Samuel became our third resident through a call for applications – the first time that the composer in residence at the New Zealand School of Music had not needed the house. The opportunity allowed Samuel, from Auckland, to work closely with musicians based in Wellington.

Samuel also:

  • completed Strange Loops for large ensemble, which was premiered by Stroma in 2008
  • completed Terrain Vague, a 'landscape prelude' commissioned by Stephen De Pledge
  • worked on Domestic Architecture, commissioned by the Asian Composers League for performance in Korea.
Helen Bowater

2008–2009: Helen Bowater

With her parter, Andrew Caldwell, Helen returned to her home town of Wellington from Waiheke Island to spend a year at the Lilburn Residence. By special dispensation she was able to bring her elderly dog. During Helen's stay there were many happy social occasions and it became clear that the heating in the house required some improvement.

She donated the frames for two prints by Greg O'Brien celebrating the life of organist and conductor, Maxwell Fernie – the prints themselves were donated by Greg.

Helen also composed:

  • Atsinganos for solo violin, later published by Wai-te-ata Music Press
  • Nekhbet for solo piano, premiered by Wojciech Wisniewski and published by Wai-te-ata Music Press
  • sama-sama for flute, viola and harp
  • A Wild Sea for the Crossing, a setting of 3 poems by Gregory O’Brien for mezzo soprano and piano performed by Claire Scholes and David Kelly
  • Cottleston Pie, 3 piano pieces since performed by Blas Gonzalez and Dan Poynton
  • Sun Wu Kong “Monkey” for gamelan, string quartet, sheng, Rebab, singers, which was requested by Jack Body for his retirement concert and performed by Gamelan Padhang Moncar, NZ String Quartet, Wang Zheng-Ting (sheng), Budi Putra (rebab).
John Rae

2009–2010: John Rae

John's stay in the house was notable for several reasons: he was the first jazz composer to be in residence, and it was also the first time a whole family had moved in. John, his wife Suzy and their two children moved down to Wellington from Hawkes Bay and have remained in Wellington. Because of his background in jazz, John was able to collaborate with musicians at both the Massey and Victoria campuses of the New Zealand School of Music.

John also:

  • completed a number of works for jazz ensembles, orchestra, solo piano, string quartet and string quartet with saxophone
  • collaborated with Fariba Hachtroudi, the writer-in-residence at the Randell Cottage
  • donated a puka tree to the garden.
Chris Gendall

2010–2011: Chris Gendall

Chris returned to Wellington from New York to take up residence at the house. He appreciated the space and time that living there gave him to compose. He also helped host various events including the launch of new publications of Lilburn's music published by Promethean Editions.

Chris also:

  • completed Gravitas for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
  • completed Eigene Gestalt for SMP Ensemble.
  • began work on Reckless Abandon for saxophone, violin and piano
  • donated a ceramic bowl.
Juliet Palmer

2011–2012: Juliet Palmer

Juliet arrived from Toronto, Canada to take up residence with her husband James Rolfe, a leading Canadian composer, and their daughter Miriam. Among their memorable experiences were the variety of birds in the garden at the house and joining Gamelan Padhang Moncar at the New Zealand School of Music. Juliet was the first composer to have a residency with Orchestra Wellington, through a partnership with the New Zealand School of Music.

Juliet also:

  • completed Like an Old Tale, a chamber opera for chorus, ensemble, six vocal soloists and electroacoustics
  • completed Nails as a Rose for gamelan
  • revised Shelter, a full-length opera
  • began a large-scale a capella opera Sweat
  • began Three Pop Songs 'Solid Gold' for mezzo and orchestra, premiered by Orchestra Wellington and Madeleine Pierard in late 2013
  • donated a kaka beak plant to the garden and, to the house, framed historic photos of Thorndon and Lilburn from the Alexander Turnbull Library.
David Downes

2012–2013: David Downes

David moved across Wellington to take up residence with his partner, Ingrid Gotlieb. As well as being a mentor at the Composers' Association Nelson Workshop for the first time, David also had a trip to Berlin to present his film/music works. With Ingrid's help, the garden flourished.

David also:

  • began work on a new string quartet
  • began work on Confusion of Tongues, an electroacoustic work featuring samples of improvising string players
  • completed Dog Eat Dog for Strike, as part of their stage show Between Zero and One
  • completed Defense Mechanism, for mechatronic drum kit and Disklavier.

David and Ingrid gifted framed photographs of Thorndon that can usually be found in the kitchen.

Jeroen Speak

Dorothy Ker

2013–2014: Jeroen Speak and Dorothy Ker

Jeroen and Dorothy moved from London to Wellington to take up residence in the house – a return to New Zealand after a long absence. Jeroen was the Creative New Zealand/Jack C Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music, while Dorothy was a visiting Research Fellow there, on leave from her position at the University of Sheffield. They hosted a number of previous residents and social events at the house and heard many performances of their works by musicians around New Zealand.

Jeroen also:

  • revised Tarantelle for solo cello
  • completed String Quartet 3
  • completed Eratosthenes’ Sieve for ensemble
  • completed Particle Dust for percussion
  • completed Shadow Aspect for solo piano
  • completed Entropy for solo organ.

Dorothy also:

  • completed Reef which was premiered by 175 East in late 2013
  • completed Ulam’s Spiral for 19tet trumpet
  • completed Reef Fragments for string trio
  • started a piano trio, co-commissioned by Fidelio Trio (UK) and NZTrio
  • recorded a gentle infinity in the SOUNZ-NZSO-RNZC Recordings.

Jeroen and Dorothy both attended the ‘Composing Now’ Composers Association conference in Auckland, at which Dorothy was keynote speaker.

Ted Apel

As the composer in residence at the New Zealand School of Music in 2014-15 had not needed the house, the Lilburn Residence Trust held a call for applications and selected three composers.

 2014: Ted Apel

Ted spent September and October at the Lilburn Residence to work on a new sound installation based on the painting Central Otago by Rita Angus to commemmorate the Lilburn centenary in 2015. The work will highlight correspondences between the electronic music techniques of Douglas Lilburn and the painting techniques of Rita Angus.

Karlo MargeticTabea Squire

2014–15:  Karlo Margetic and Tabea Squire

Karlo and Tabea moved into the Lilburn Residence in November 2014 and stayed until the end of June 2015. They were successful in a call for applications for our 2014-15 residents.

Karlo was working exclusively on a piano concerto for Michael Houstoun, making use of the space the house had to offer in order to commandeer two electric keyboards for his workspace. The work, Melting Furniture was premiered by Orchestra Wellington in December 2015. 

Tabea worked on a set of dances for unspecified ensemble, which involved notating some basic choreography. She also started an orchestral work and completed a book of violin studies for beginner violinists which she uses with her students.

 John Elmsly

2015-2016: John Elmsly

John's residency coincided with the 10th year of composers living in the house and also Douglas Lilburn's centenary. He, together with the Trust, hosted an open day on 1 November to celebrate the centenary. During his year in Wellingotn, John and his partner, Darryl Foong greatly enjoyed, 'the vibrant but manageable city life.'

John also:

  • completed Three for Four for the Aotea Flute Ensemble
  • completed In October Light for mixed chamber ensemble which was premiered by Stroma at a concert marking Lilburn's centenary
  • collaborated with Reuben Chin to create One Mouth, Two Voices for soprano and alto saxophones
  • rewrote Three for Four into a compact version called Variations on a Prelude: Three for Four to One
  • took part in TVNZ's programme, Neighbourhood about Thorndon, its residents and history
  • has given the house on permanent loan, a ceramic bowl by Doreen Blumhardt and a painting of early Thorndon by Avis Higgs, a well-known textile designer and resident of Thorndon.

2016-2017: Alison Isadora 

Alison came from Amsterdam to enjoy the birds and the garden at the Lilburn house, and was very pleased to spend a year in Wellington where she could compose full time. She hosted some very enjoyable social occasions at the house and was joined by her husband, Dutch composer, Jan-Bas Bollen for 3 months.

Alison composed:

  • Songs of Remembering #1 for voice and violin, which was written for her mother’s 80th birthday
  • For John, a work for cello featuring double-stop harmonics and which was premiered by Australian cellist John Addison at the Adam Art Gallery
  • 54, for soprano and recorder performed by Rowena Simpson and Kamala Bain
  • Blessing, a memorial piece for Jack Body which was premiered by Baroque Voices
  • Critical State, a cross-media work in collaboration with Jan-Bas Bollen which they toured throughout NZ.

Alison donated a kaka beak plant which can be found under the camellias in the rear garden.

 Rob Thorne

2017-2018: Rob Thorne

Rob Thorne is Palmerston North-based composer, performer, educator and ethnomusicologist. As an expert in the performance of taonga puoro, the traditional instruments of Māori culture he enjoyed being surrounded by birds and bush, as well as getting to know Lilburn’s electronic works and responding to them through the taonga puoro.

Rob composed:

  • Tomokanga for tango puoro and string quartet which he premiered at the 2018 NZ Festival with the NZ String Quartet, and later arranged for the NZSM Orchestra
  • Te Kōkī, a multichannel sound installation
  • Tautitotito in collaboration with Celeste Oram and Alex Taylor  which will be performed later in 2018 in Darmstadt
  • music for Wellington's Matariki celebrations.

Rob's other activities included:

  • touring new live works with Berlin-based electronics artist Fis
  • realeasing a new album, Rewa (Rattle Records RAT D083) and the preparation of another for drums and taonga puoro with Reece McNaughten/Big Flip The Massive
  • developing a new course in Māori music for NZSM
  • giving various lectures including one at the 2017 NZ Musicological Society Conference
  • attending WOMEX’17 in Katowice, Poland.