Feature Image: Lilburn Research Fellowship

Lilburn Research Fellowship

Find out about the Lilburn Research Fellowship and scholarly research undertaken by previous recipients.

What’s the Lilburn Research Fellowship?

This biennial fellowship encourages scholarly research leading to publication on some aspect of New Zealand and music, using the resources of the Archive of New Zealand Music and the wider published and unpublished collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library.

The Lilburn Research Fellow also has access to the general collections of the National Library, as well as online resources.

Successful applicants receive a grant of up to $70,000.

Apply for the Lilburn Research Fellowship

Information, including conditions and application guidelines, can be found on the Douglas Lilburn website.

Douglas Lilburn website

Previous recipients of the Lilburn Research Fellowship

Previous recipients of the Lilburn Research Fellowship have studied a wide range of topics to do with New Zealand and music.

Daniel Beban, 2019 recipient

The recipient of the Lilburn Research Fellowship 2019 is Daniel Beban. He will be using the fellowship to further a study of the Braille Collective musicians in Wellington, who made up groups such as the Six Volts and the Primitive Art Group in the mid-1980s.

This is a fantastic opportunity to produce a book about the Braille Collective and New Zealand improvised music from the late ‘70s onwards. It’s an important story in the history of New Zealand music, and as most of the musicians involved in this community have operated outside of institutions, it is a piece of history that has been largely overlooked. It is a great privilege that I am able to devote a substantial period of time to helping tell their story.
- Mr Beban

Mr Beban studied ethnomusicology and composition at Victoria University of Wellington, with improvised and experimental music being the focus of much of his subsequent research, writing and radio broadcasting work.

Dr Aleisha Ward, 2017 recipient

The recipient of the Lilburn Research Fellowship for 2017 is Dr Aleisha Ward. She will be using the fellowship to research the musical and cultural history of New Zealand’s jazz age (1917-1929) in a project called ‘The Jazz Age in New Zealand’.

I feel incredibly honoured to be selected as the 2017 Lilburn Research Fellow. This makes it possible for me to expand to a national scale the research I am doing. I am delighted to have this opportunity to explore and share with others the vibrant and exciting jazz, dance, music and entertainment scene of 1920s New Zealand, and tell the story of how jazz in all its guises infiltrated and affected the formation of modern New Zealand culture.

The composer Douglas Lilburn’s manifestos on searching for tradition and language resonate not only in New Zealand art music history, but also in our jazz history. The arguments that Lilburn made for New Zealand artists to find our own traditions and musical languages that align with, but are separate from, the northern hemisphere have been explored by our jazz and dance musicians since the early 1920s.

— Dr Ward

Dr Ward holds a PhD in Music from the University of Auckland, an MA in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and was the 2016/2017 Sir George Grey Researcher in Residence at Auckland Libraries.

Feature image: Detail of Douglas Lilburn, ca 1975, by Mervyn Desmond King. Ref: PAColl-0675-20.