Cornelius Cardew (May 7, 1936–December 13, 1981) born in Winchcombe, Gloucester, was an English avant-garde composer, and founder (with Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons) of the ScratchOrchestra?
, an experimental performing ensemble. He is notable for Treatise (TreatiseScore
), a graphic score purely psychologically interpreted.
From 1958 to 1960 was an assistant to KarlheinzStockhausen
, working on Stockhausen's Carré. He was, along with John Tilbury, one of the best known performers of cello and piano pieces by Stockhausen, JohnCage?
, Christian Wolff, and other experimental music. Cardew also perfomed with free improvisation group AMM.
He is the author of Stockhausen Serves Imperialism (1974), written after abandoning avante-garde music for a populist though post-romantic tonal style. Espousing Maoism, Cardew was active in various causes in the fringe of English politics. He was a co-founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
Cardew died the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in London.