Cornelius Cardew

  • Artist

Cornelius Cardew (1936–1981, UK) was an experimental music composer, and founder of the Scratch Orchestra, a performing ensemble. He later rejected experimental music, explaining why he had "discontinued composing in an avantgarde idiom" in his own programme notes to his Piano Album 1973 in favour of a politically motivated "people's liberation music". Cardew's most important scores from his experimental period are Treatise, a 193-page graphic score which allows for considerable freedom of interpretation, and The Great Learning, a work in seven parts or Paragraph, based on translations of Confucius by Ezra Pound. Cardew became a member of the Communist Party and his creative output from the demise of the Scratch Orchestra until his death reflected his increased political commitment.