Lilburn Research Fellow 2015

28 November 2014: Lilburn Research Fellow 2015 announced

The Lilburn Research Fellowship for 2015 has been awarded to Wellington writer and radio producer Chris Bourke.

Chris Bourke seated at Douglas Lilburn’s piano.
medialilburnawardchrisbourke.jpg)Chris Bourke seated at Douglas Lilburn’s piano, which is held in the Alexander Turnbull Library.

The Lilburn Research Fellowship is a collaborative venture between the Lilburn Trust – established by composer Douglas Lilburn in 1984 – and the Alexander Turnbull Library. The Trust has provided a competitive grant of $60,000.

Chris Bourke’s book Blue Smoke: the Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music, 1918-1964, won the 2011 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Book of the Year, General Non-fiction and People’s Choice.

Chris was National Library Research Fellow in 2006 and University of Waikato Writer-in-residence in 2008. As well as writing for the New Zealand Listener, Pacific Wave, Rip It Up, Real Groove, North and South, and Music in New Zealand, Bourke has also produced Saturday Morning on National Radio with hosts John Campbell and Kim Hill.

“It is a great honour to be selected as the 2015 Lilburn Research Fellow.” said Bourke. “Lilburn’s presence at Victoria University while I was there stimulated my interest in New Zealand’s musical heritage.”

As the Lilburn Research Fellow Bourke will work on an introductory companion book to Blue Smoke that will be about New Zealand music during the First World War. His research will be greatly assisted by the New Zealand WWI Sheet music that has recently been digitized by the Turnbull Library.

Bourke adds, “Lilburn’s generosity in creating the Archive of New Zealand Music at the Turnbull Library is regarded as visionary. He took an interest in all the arts, and all kinds of music. Next year is the centenary of Lilburn’s birth and New Zealand’s participation at Gallipoli, so this book will be a tribute to both.”

Chris Bourke will take up the fellowship in January 2015.


Contact: Keith McEwing, Secretary, Music Advisory Committee, Lilburn Trust. Email or phone 04 470 4483.

Media contact: Michael Smith, Communications, Internal Affairs. Email or phone 04 816 4038.