The Appeal of Great Britain
New Zealanders do very well in Great Britain. Once the early loneliness, defensiveness, and inverted arrogance wears off, they soon become acclimatised and they have a very high reputation. It is perhaps true to say that, of all importations from the Dominions, New Zealanders are the most welcome and the most popular. They retain their independence of outlook and their initiative and they lose their insularity. For the most part, they prosper. It is not to be wondered at that so many of them never return; those that do, sometimes find that they have made a mistake.
Any criticisms that may be levelled at the possible neglect of talent in this country fall flat when it comes to music. The establishment of the National Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Opera Co., the New Zealand Ballet Co., and the Chamber Music Society are magnificent achievements. Their standard of performance is admirable, they attract visiting artists of the first rank, and they offer professional work at a high level to local instrumentalists. It is significant that New Zealand's two leading composers, Douglas Lilburn and David Farquhar, have both studied abroad and then returned to work and to teach in this country. With the establishment of a conservatorium, when it comes, there will be no need for any but the most highly gifted music students to study abroad and, for those that do so, there will be every reasonable incentive to return. With the will, the foresight, and the understanding to bring about such an advance in musical achievement, one feels that the State will before long give comparable help to another and allied art: that of the theatre.