Cornelius Cardew

Cornelius Cardew main page on UbuWeb Sound

Piano Music of the 1970s
  1. The Croppy Boy
  2. Father Murphy
  3. Four Principals on Ireland
  4. Charge
  5. Bethanien Song
  6. Red Flag Prelude
  7. Soon
  8. Revolution is the Main Trend
  9. Thalmann Variations
  10. Boolavogue
  11. Sing for the Future Variations

01-9 performed by the composer
10 performed by Andrew Ball & John Tilbury
11 performed by Andrew Bottrill

Born 1936 (Mother a painter, father a pioneer potter)
43/50 - Canterbury Cathedral School which had evacuated to Cornwall
53/7 - Royal Academy of Music (RAM)
56/81 - performer/concert organiser, 1st British perf. Boulez' "Structures 1" with Richard Rodney Bennet, RAM; also Cage, Stockhausen, etc., Worked with Bedford, Bryars, Chant, Hobbs, Nyman, Shrapnel, Smith, Tilbury, White & others 57- Electronic music, Cologne
58/60 - Stockhausen's assistant
65 - studied with Petrassi, Italy
66 - joined AMM
66 - Fellow RAM
67 - Prof. Composition, RAM
66/7 - Centre for Creative & Performing Arts, State Uni. NY
68 - Experimental Music class Morley College
69 - with Michael Parsons & Howard Skempton formed Scratch Orchestra, a large group of musicians and non-musicians, leads to question of 'art for whom'. Cornelius becomes more active as a Marxist-Leninist
73 - grant to work in W. Berlin, starts writing Piano Albums
74 - book: "Stockhausen Serves Imperialism", "I had been part of the 'school of Stockhausen'...I was also part of the 'school of Cage' & throughout the 60s I had energetically propogated, through broadcasts, concerts & articles in the press, the work of both composers. This was a bad thing and I will not offer excuses for it..."
74/8 - Peoples' Liberation Music Group: concerts, research, songbooks, played rallies, marches, benefits, picket lines, etc.
75/7 - Goldsmiths College class, Songs For Our Society
76 - Secretary, Progressive Cultural Association
78 - PCA Band
79 - PCA tour Canada; songbook We Sing for the Future
81 - 1st International Sports & Cultural Festival (ISCF) Canada
81 - Initiated work for 2nd ISCF Britain
81 - began Masters in Musical Analysis, Kings College London. Tragically killed 13th Dec 1981 by a hit-and-run driver near his home in East London


Cornelius Cardew's "Stockhausen Serves Imperialism" in UbuWeb Historical
Cornelius Cardew's "Towards an Ethic of Improvisation" (1971) in UbuWeb Papers
Itchy and Scratchy Orchestra in UbuWeb Sound