Cornelius Cardew

The avant-gardist to the avant-garde, one of the most important figures of 20th-century sound art, as interpreted by the Sanatorium of Sound Ensemble.


A pioneering force in the world of experimental music, left an indelible mark on the avant-garde movement of the mid-20th century. Born in 1936, he received formal training at the Royal Academy of Music in London and studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen, where he first dabbled in serialism and electronic experimentation. In the 1960s he radically transformed his approach. Rejecting avant-garde elitism, he shifted towards a more socially engaged stance. One of his seminal works, Treatise, stands as a testament to this evolution. A graphic score devoid of conventional notation, challenges interpreters to navigate its visual complexities, emphasising collaboration and improvisation. In addition to his groundbreaking compositions, he co-founded the Scratch Orchestra, an experimental musical ensemble aimed at democratising music creation. The collective embraced a diverse range of influences, reflecting the composer’s belief in the communal nature of artistic expression. His foray into politically charged compositions, notably The Great Learning, underscores his conviction in the transformative power of music as a tool for societal change. During this year’s edition of the Festival we will delve into the impact of the Treatise composition on the experimental music landscape.

Sanatorium of Sound Ensemble plays "Treatise" by Cornelius Cardew (Judith Hamann, Giuseppe Ielasi, Gerard Lebik)
Sanatorium of Sound 10 - spring
In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation, Zuzanna Fogtt and Gerard Lebik would like to invite you to the 10th edition of the Sanatorium of Sound Festival in Sokołows