1950 – Awarded the degree of Dr. phil. Start of work as music educator at Vienna Mittelschulen. In the years 1960-65, work in developing and leading school orchestras. Further numerous concerts as violinist.
1956–58 Attends the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music. Also attends the courses of Rudolf Kolisch and Eduard
Steuermann as a violinist, two further experts on the musical ideals of the Schönberg school. First compositions after studying the ideas of serialism (including Formation et solution, premièred in Darmstadt in 1958, Relazioni fragili, premiéred in Vienna in 1960).
1957 – Rome stipend. Composition of Espressioni fondamentali for orchestra (premièred in Berlin in 1960).
1958 – Founding of the ensemble „die reihe" with Kurt Schwertsik to create a permanent forum for new music in Vienna; pioneering efforts in the presentation of new works, but also of the music of classical modernism, especially of the Viennese school. Performance of works of the Viennese school on violin at the World's Fair in Brussels.
1959 – First instruction post at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna. First concerts of "die reihe". Composition of Mouvements and Fasce.
1960 – Founding of the ensemble "Camerata Frescobaldiana" for Italian music of the 17th century, in the years following concerts using period instruments. Editions of early music. Composition of the Spiegel für großes Orchester und Tonband (1960/61) and draft of the related musical theatre concept (continues work on it until 1971).
1961 – First international success as composer and conductor with Relazioni fragili at the ISCM festival in Vienna. Start of increased activity as a conductor (ensemble, orchestra, opera) at leading institutions in the promotion of contemporary music, and at leading festivals and opera houses.
1962 – Starts study of the third act of Alban Berg's opera Lulu (continues work on it until 1978). First extensive tour with "die reihe" (including Relazioni fragili) throughout Germany and to Paris.
1962–67 – Composition of Exercises (première in Vienna in 1968).
1963 – Purchase of residence in Maria Langegg.
First Cerha Portrait at the Wiener Festwochen.
1967 – Extensive visual artwork in Maria Langegg (drawings, watercolors since the 1950s); later construction of a stone chapel and increased work on stone sculpture.
1968–75 – President of the Austrian section of the ISCM.
1969 – Named associate professor at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna.
1970 – Tour of the ensemble „die reihe" throughout Canada and the USA. Première of Langegger Nachtmusik I at the Berliner Festwochen.
1970/71 – Stipend from the DAAD in Berlin.
1971 – Funding prize of the National Ministry of Education and Art.
1972 – Première of the entire Spiegel cycle at the ISCM festival/steirische herbst festival - musikprotokoll in Graz.
1973 – Première of Curriculum (commission of the Koussevitzky Foundation) in New York.
1974 – Commission by the National Ministry of Education and Art for composition of the opera Baal. Composed 1974-1980.
Prize of the City of Vienna.
1976 – Named full professor at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna, leads a class for „composition, notation and interpretation of contemporary music" until 1988. Première of his Concerto for Violin in Vienna.
1978 – Establishment and direction of the concert series „Wege in unsere Zeit" at the Vienna Konzerthaus, to show important developments in the music of our century through ensemble and orchestral concerts (until 1983).
1979 – Première of the three-act version of Alban Berg's opera Lulu in Paris.
Performances of the entire Spiegel cycle at the Venice Biennale.
1981 – Première of the musical theatre piece Netzwerk at the Wiener Festwochen; première of the opera Baal based on Bertold Brecht at the Salzburg Festspiele and later performances at the Vienna State Opera.
1982 – Première of the Baal Gesänge with Theo Adam at the North German Radio in Hamburg; performances of Baal at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin.
1983 – Composition of the Requiem für Hollensteiner based on texts by Thomas Bernhard (première NDR Hamburg 1984). Première of the 1. Keintate on Viennese Pieces by Ernst Kein in Vienna.
1984 – Start of work on the opera Der Rattenfänger based on Carl Zuckmayer (commissioned by the steirische herbst festival).
1986 – Great Austrian State Prize (donated by Cerha for performances of works by young composers); Golden Medal of Honour of the State of Steiermark, City of Vienna Medal of Honour in Gold. Exhibit at the Austrian National Library: the childhood of a composer in Vienna.
1987 – Première of Der Rattenfänger at the steirische herbst festival at the Graz Opera and the Vienna State Opera.
1988 – Honorary member of the Society of the Vienna Konzerthaus. After leaving the conservatory, increased activity as composer and conductor. Composition of the Monumentum for Karl Prantl (première at the Salzburger Festspiele 1989).
1989 – Featured composer at the festival "Wien modern". Composition and première of the Phantasiestück in C.s Manier for cello and orchestra, composition of the First String Quartet (commissioned by the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg).
1990 – Composition of the Second String Quartet (commission of the Concours international de quatuor à cordes d'Evian).
1991 – Première of the First String Quartet at the Mozart Week in Salzburg. Première of the Second String Quartet in Evian. Composition of Langegger Nachtmusik III for orchestra, with première in Berlin.
1992 – First prize at the ICONS competition in Torino for the First String Quartet. Composition of Impulse for orchestra (1992/93), commissioned by the Vienna Philharmonic. Member of the European Academy of Sciences.
1993 – Composition of the Viola Concerto (première in Vienna in 1995) and of For K for ensemble. Start of work on interpretations of the Viennese School with the Klangforum Wien.
1994 – Cerha Days in Linz. Composition of the Concertino for violin, accordion, and ensemble (première in Vienna in 1996). Composition of the Introitus, Kyrie, and Libera me of the Requiem of Reconciliation (commissioned by the Bachakademie Stuttgart). President of the Klangforum Wien.
1995 – Première of the Requiem of Reconciliation in Stuttgart. Honorary member of the ISCM Austria. Composition of the Saxophone Quartet (première in Vienna in 1996). Composition of Eight Movements on Hölderlin Fragments for string sextet (commissioned by the Philharmonie Cologne, premièred in Cologne in 1996).
1996 – Première of Impulse for orchestra (Vienna Philharmonic under André Prévin). Composition of Jahrlang ins Ungewisse hinab (Hölderlin) for ensemble (commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences). Numerous concerts on the occasion of his 70th birthday in Austria and beyond.
Composer-in-residence at the Mozarteum Salzburg.
1997 – Première of Jahrlang ins Ungewisse hinab in Vienna. Composition of the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra (commissioned by the Berliner Festspiele).
Commissioned by the Vienna State Opera to compose the opera Der Riese vom Steinfeld (Libretto: Peter Turrini).
1998 – Première of the Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra at the Berliner Festwochen.
1999 – Composition of the cycle Im Namen der Liebe (Texts by Peter Turrini) for baritone and orchestra (commissioned by the Festival de Música de Canarias).
2000 – Commission of the Konzerthaus Berlin for the composition of the orchestral piece Hymnus
2001 – Première of Five Pieces for Clarinet, Violoncello and Piano for the 50th Birthday of Heinrich Schiff.
Composition of the Rhapsodie pour violon et piano, commissioned by the Jacques Thibaud competition, Paris.
Start of work on the Requiem for Soli, Choir, and Orchestra as commissioned by the Konzerthaus Vienna.
2002 – Première of the opera Der Riese vom Steinfeld at the Vienna State Opera.
2003/04 – Composition of the Concerto for Soprano, Saxophone and Orchestra
2004 – Composing the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (with Doblinger Music Publishers) and Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet (Commission from BNP Paribas)
World première of Requiem for solo voices, chorus and orchestra
2006 – Awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (leone doro alla carriera) of the Biennale di Venezia World Première of Momente for solo voices, chorus and large orchestra orchestra (commissioned by Musica Viva Munich)
World Première of Momente for solo voices, chorus and large orchestra orchestra (commissioned by Musica Viva Munich)
2008 – Awarded the Goldene Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um das Land Wien
2009 – World première of Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra
2010 – 13 Feb: World première of Like a Tragicomedy for large orchestra (commissioned by BBC Manchester)
2010 – 23 Apr: world première of Bruchstück, geträumt
2010 – 27 Jun: world première of 9 Bagatellen
2010 – 17 Oct: world première of Wiener Kaleidoskop
2011 – 13 Mar: Awarded the Musikpreis Salzburg 2011 – Internationaler Kompositionspreis des Landes Salzburg
2011 – 11 Jun: world première of 4 Paraphrasen for oboe, violoncello and piano
2011 – 29 Sep: world première of Baal – reduced version
2011 – 06 Oct: world première of Paraphrase über den Anfang der 9. Symphonie von Beethoven for orchestra
2011 – 29 Oct: world première of Für Marino (gestörte Meditation) for piano
2012 – 22 Jun: awarded the 2012 international Ernst von Siemens Music Prize
2013 – “carte blanche” at the Orquesta Nacional de España between 2 and 12 April
3 Aug: world première of Étoile for 6 percussionists at the Salzburg Festival
Cerha’s Schlagzeugkonzert wins a Coups de Coeur Musique Contemporaine
2014 – 7 Feb: world première of Tagebuch for orchestra (hr-Sinfonieorchester, cond. Andrés Orozco-Estrada)
2016 – 9 Apr: 3 Sätze for orchestra premièred by Cornelius Meister and the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien
2016 – 11 Aug: world première of Eine blassblaue Vision at the Salzburg Festival
2023 - Died in Vienna on 14 Feb
Cerha has been the recipient of commissions from numerous orchestras, festivals and agencies, including the Southwest Radio Baden-Baden, North German Radio Hamburg, Radio Bremen, South German Radio Stuttgart, Radio Orchestra Vienna, Styrian Autumn Graz, Austrian Federal Ministry for Education and Art, Festival Royan, and the Koussevitzky Foundation New York. He has been awarded a number of compositions prizes, e.g. the Prize of the City of Vienna (1974) and the Great Austrian State prize (1986) which he donated for performances of works by young composers.
The chronological curriculum vitae was kindly provided by Universal Edition.