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  • Lilburn Lecture — Breath of the birds: the revival of taonga puoro

Lilburn Lecture — Breath of the birds: the revival of taonga puoro

Date: Friday 1 November 2019, 6pm to 7pm
Cost: Free. RSVP as places are limited.
Contact details: Keith.McEwing@dia.govt.nz
Part of the Pūkana series

The 2019 Lilburn Lecture sees esteemed New Zealand composer Dame Gillian Whitehead (Ngāi te Rangi) speak of the origin of ngā taonga puoro, their revival, and how she has used these traditional Māori musical instruments in her work. The lecture will include a performance by Bridget Douglas and Alistair Fraser.

Ngā taonga puoro — origin and revival

This year's Lilburn Lecture sees esteemed New Zealand composer Dame Gillian Whitehead (Ngāi te Rangi) talking about the origin of ngā taonga puoro, their revival, and how she has used these traditional Māori musical instruments in her work.

The lecture will include a performance by NZSO principal flautist, Bridget Douglas and taonga puoro performer and researcher, Alistair Fraser.

Douglas Lilburn Lectures

The annual Lilburn Lectures are a collaboration between the Lilburn Trust and the National Library of New Zealand. This year’s Lilburn Lecture will be the seventh in this series of open public talks.

Refreshments will be served following the Lecture.

About the speaker

Dame Gillian Whitehead has written a wide range of music including works for solo, chamber, choral, orchestral and operatic forces, most of them direct commissions from performers and funding organisations. A number of her works have been recorded for commercial release, including a CD of her chamber works by Wai-te-ata Press and a recording of her opera, Outrageous Fortune.

In 2000, she became one of the inaugural Artist Laureates of the NZ Arts Foundation. In 2008, she became a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, one of New Zealand’s highest honours, and she was granted the title ‘Dame’ in 2009. 2018 saw Gillian receive an Arts Icon Award, recognising her enormous contribution to New Zealand’s cultural landscape. Overseen by the Arts Foundation, there are only 20 of these awards in circulation at any time, the recipient holding the award for life.

A significant collection of Dame Gillian’s works is held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Ref: MS-Group-0103

Gillian Whitehead
Photographs of Gillian Whitehead. Photo by Gareth Watkins. Ref: PADL-000849. Alexander Turnbull Library.