Cornelius Cardew

a very brief outline (1936 - 1981)

Educated at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School, Cornelius went on to the Royal Academy of Music 1953 where he studied 'cello, piano and composition, immersing himself in the new classical music of the time. He continued studies in electronic music in Germany becoming Stockhausen's assistant 1958, and studied with Petrassi in Italy 1964. Returning to UK he took a course in Graphics and worked intermittently as a graphic artist during his life. Work, music and politics took him to many countries in Europe and North America

Cornelius was involved in many new cultural and political activities throughout his life from

In the last few months of his life Cornelius had just enrolled for a Masters Degree, had been banned from the house of Commons, Chaired a national conference against racism and fascism and organised a concert on the same theme, held a meeting to present the plans for the Second Sports and Cultural Festival which was to be held in the UK and of which he was secretary, organised pickets and demonstrations, among other activities, when he was killed in December 1981 by a hit and run driver.
Cornelius was always an innovator and his influence in Britain and other countries was considerable.







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