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‘... each sound, each structure is a promise…’ – Gottfried Michael Koenig

Around the same time as Philips was establishing the first Dutch studio for electronic music, Walter Maas, director of the Gaudeamus foundation for contemporary music, took steps that led to the founding of the Contactorgaan Elektronische Muziek (Electronic music contact organization), or CEM. From the outset, Gaudeamus has played a major role in researching and developing new technological possibilities for composers all over the world. 

CEM-studio 1961

CEM Studio

In 1956, Gaudeamus founded CEM (‘Contactorgaan Elektronische Muziek’). CEM’s principal aim was to set up a studio where composers could be trained to make electronic music independently – a goal that Gaudeamus founder Walter Maas had been trying to achieve since 1952.

Read the full story about the CEM and the electronic studio of Huize Gaudeamus here

Dutch electronic music pioneers

In 1966 Dutch composer Ton Bruynèl wins the Gaudeamus Award with the electronic piece ‘Mobile’.

In 1996, Gaudeamu and Donemus found the Netherlands Electro-Acoustic Repertoire centre. In the years after, Donemus / NEAR released 2 boxes with the electronic music of Dutch composers Jan Boerman and Dick Raaijmakers.

Festivals and international collaborations 1982 – 1996

1982 – 1991

Prize winners of the Concours International de Musique et Art Sonore Electroacoustique de Bourges are programmed annually during the Gaudeamus Music Week.


The Association PEM – Producers Electronic Music (founded in 1970) is revived by Gaudeamus. PEM will be the Dutch Section of the CIME – Confédération Internationale de Musique Electroacoustique.


Festival Modèles Sonores: the early years of electronic music.


Festival BEAST – The acousmatic experience, with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theater


NAEM: “A research and plan for the establishment and realization of a Dutch Archive for Electronic Music”, by Alcedo Coenen on behalf of Gaudeamus, Donemus, Geneco and Vereniging PEM.


International Rostrum of Electroacoustic Music (in collaboration with UNESCO / IMC, NOS, STEIM) with a.o. the Cineac Sonore in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

2002: The Future of the Electric Muse

In 2002 the PEM foundation (Producenten Electronische Muziek) publishes a manifesto pleading for more investment in the future of electronic music in The Netherlands. Gaudeamus is co-author.

Read the manifesto (in Dutch) here

2006: Gabriel Paiuk

In 2006, Gabriel Paiuk wins the Gaudeamus Award with his electronic installation Res Extensa.

Festivals and international collaborations 1997 – 2020


“Klankspeeltuin” (Sound playground) in collaboration with CEM during Gaudeamus Muziekweek.


Festival Terza Prattica (in collaboration with the PEM)


Release of PEM-CD “Dutch electronic music in the year 2000”

2001 – 2002

Prix Ton Bruynèl: programming winners during Gaudeamus Muziekweek

Live Electronic Festival

Henk Heuvelmans, Gordon Mumma, Lin Jinn, Wu Jubei, Michel Waisvisz


Wave Field Synthesis: programming during Gaudeamus Muziekweek of the WFS-equipment i.c.w. the The Game of Life Foundation


International Computer Music Conference i.c.w. HKU – Music & Technology

Gottfried Michael Koenig

Process and Form: Selected Writings on Music

Gottfried Michael Koenig collaborated intensively with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the 1950s in the Electronic Music Studio of the WDR in Cologne, where he himself also produced several landmark pieces of electronic and serial music. He moved to the Netherlands in 1964 to become the artistic director of Utrecht University’s Studio for Electronic Music, which in 1967 became the Institute of Sonology. Koenig gave many lectures in Huize Gaudeamus in Bilthoven, all of which are collected in the book Process and Form: Selected Writings on Music that was published in 2018, supported by Gaudeamus.

Buy the book here

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