Cerha Online


Verzweigungen/Ramifications is the title of the last part of Friedrich Cerha‘s 1988 orchestral work Monumentum. It is dedicated to the Austrian sculptor Karl Prantl and traces, in a musical way, the different facets of his stone sculptures. Many of them are located in unspoiled nature and are often entwined with their surroundings. Cerha‘s Verzweigungen/Ramifications reflect this connection with nature: One sketch shows a convoluted structure of notes that, as a graphical representation, immediately reminds one of a plant – from the gnarled, earthy roots up to the delicate, tangled branches and twigs. The sketch described can be equally applied to Cerha’s entire work, both in terms of the vast range of themes and ideas he treats as well as the manifold connecting lines that meander through his Œuvre – which by now already spans 80 years.

 The “Cerha Online“ project, supported by the federal province of Lower Austria’s “Science Call Digitalisation 2017“ and headed by Uni.-Prof. Dr. Matthias Henke, will dedicate two years to the task of making already grown as well as newly sprouted ramifications more accessible to the general public. The platform’s core is a themed, barrier-free show correlating the respective themes in Cerha’s compositions. Thus, the online presentation provides a total of ten different portals. In addition to the previouly mentioned topic “The Art of Nature“ it also deals with inspiration from non-European cultures, playful approaches, repercussions of occidental music history or the interplay between the individual and society that Cerha’s music theatre multifariously takes up. The goal is to exemplify the individual jigsaw pieces that make up the whole of Friedrich Cerha and his preoccupation with the world’s many facets. However, the online presentation is not only about Cerha’s personal impact; it is also an exemplary study of an important chapter in Austrian post-WWII music history.

The main objective is to promote and communicate research. By means of a multi-dimensional deep structure it is possible to obtain first, rather sensual impressions as well as detailed information on a particular composition or source and archive material. Consequently the platform, provided in English and German, can be used for different purposes – as a working basis for teaching at schools and universities, as a source of information for concert organizers or artists and as a contact point for research.    

“Cerha Online” is intended as a meeting place that makes an imaginative but also fact-oriented approach to one of the great composers of the 20th century possible. In addition, “Cerha Online” sees itself as a prototype for future digitalization projects dealing with artistic estates. With “Friedrich Cerha Online,” the Archives of Contemporary Arts virtually opens up its treasure trove, globally and for everyone.

Link: cerha-online.com

Basic Information


01/04/2019 - 30/09/2021


Gesellschaft für Forschungsförderung Niederösterreich m.b.H.


Science Call Digitalisierung 2017

Principle investigator for the project

Dr. Christine Rigler


Head of Project:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Matthias Henke

Academic Staff:

Dr. Marco Hoffmann

Dr. Martina Kalser-Gruber, MSc

MMag. Gundula Wilscher

Simon Wimmer, BA MA