- Larry Pruden
- Born: 1925 Deceased: 1982
- Fully Represented SOUNZ Composer
Larry Pruden was born in New Plymouth on the 28th July 1925 and brought up there. He began learning the piano at about age 8, became church organist at 13, and joined the music staff of New Plymouth Boy’s High School in 1940 as a piano teacher. His first known composition dates from 1938; at this stage his musical mentor was the well-known blind organist and composer Joseph Papaesch, his uncle. Apart from contact with Douglas Lilburn at Cambridge Music Schools from 1947, he was self-taught in composition until granted a bursary for study in England.
In London from 1951-54, he attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied composition, conducting and percussion. In 1952 he joined Benjamin Frankel’s composition class which also contained David Farquhar, Edwin Carr and Robert Burch. While there he also met and married his wife Penny.
Returning to New Zealand he settled in Wellington in 1955, employed in various capacities by NZ Broadcasting until 1975, when he went to Dunedin as Mozart Fellow at Otago University. During all of this time he was also involved in tutoring composition at summer music schools, conducting, writing programme notes and introducing radio programmes.
Since 1977 he freelanced as composer and conductor in Wellington until his death on October 1st, 1982.Source: Penny Pruden, September 2007