Lilburn Lecture: Unknown country: Listening for the sound of Aotearoa, 2 November 2023

Thursday 2 November 2023, 6pm to 7pm

Taiwhanga Kauhau — Auditorium, (lower ground) National Library Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Street.

Free. RSVP required as seats are limited.

Award-winning writer, musician, and broadcaster Nick Bollinger will reflect on his work as a pop critic and cultural historian for the 2023 Lilburn Lecture. In 2023 Nick was awarded the Lilburn Research Fellowship. In the lecture, he will consider some of the ways in which music can tell us about who we are.

Reflecting on music and identity

The Lilburn Trust, in association with the Turnbull Library invites you to the 2023 Lilburn Lecture. This year the Lilburn Research Fellowship was awarded to writer, musician, and broadcaster Nick Bollinger. In this year’s lecture he will reflect on his work as a pop critic and cultural historian and will consider some of the ways in which music can tell us about who we are.

Nick’s lecture and current research follow on from his recent publications, Goneville: A memoir100 essential New Zealand albums, and his Ockham award-winning Jumping Sundays: The rise and fall of counterculture in Aotearoa New Zealand. These all offer a window on life across the motu and what the music we have and own can reveal about us, both individually and as a nation.

The annual Lilburn Lectures are a collaboration between the Lilburn Trust and the Alexander Turnbull Library. This year’s Lilburn Lecture will be the tenth in this series of open public talks.

Refreshments will be served following the Lecture.

RSVP required

Seats are limited so book your seat now by emailing

The Lilburn Trust

The late composer Douglas Lilburn helped establish the Archive of New Zealand Music, which is part of the Turnbull Library’s collections, in 1974. He donated his own collection of scores, papers and recordings, and served as an honorary curator. Lilburn also established the Lilburn Trust in 1984, which is administered by Alexander Turnbull Library.

The Lilburn Trust supports many New Zealand music projects including the annual Lilburn Lecture. The Lecture has been held since 2013 previous speakers have been: Ross Harris, Karyn Hay, Gillian Whitehead, Eve de Castro-Robinson, Charles Royal, Jenny McLeod, Chris Bourke, William Dart, and Philip Norman.

Lilburn Trust

About the speaker

Nick Bollinger’s work in the music field has been wide-ranging, including editing Real Groove magazine, presenting the weekly RNZ review programme The Sampler and writing for the New Zealand music history website AudioCulture. He received the 2019 Friends of the Turnbull Library research grant and 2021 J.D. Stout Fellowship in New Zealand Studies to write the book Jumping Sundays: The Rise and Fall of the Counterculture in Aotearoa New Zealand, which was the winner of the 2023 Ockham Book Award for illustrated non-fiction. Nick is also an experienced musician, including as a member of the groups Rough Justice, The Pelicans, and the Windy City Strugglers.

More information can be found here.