At the center of his compositional interests is the field of tension between musical traditions and contemporary composition, as well as the relationship between sound and image or film. His repertoire includes solo and ensemble pieces, works for brass band, perfomance, brass music and symphony orchestras. They have already been carried out in Europe and South America. He has received composition commissions from the European Brass Band Association, the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, the Jenaer Philharmonie, the Stadtmusik Endingen, Mehrklang Freiburg, the Ensemble for Contemporary music at the Caldas University (Colombia) and the PULC Ensemble. In addition, various german radios, including Deutschlandfunk, Rbb-Kultur, hr2-Kultur and MDR-Kultur, have broadcast his compositions.
In 2013 he received a grant from the "Fundación Mazda para el Arte y la Ciencia" in Colombia. In 2014 he was awarded the DAAD Prize for outstanding achievements by foreign students at the Freiburg University of Music. Two years later he received a grant from the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, and in 2018 he was composer in residence at the Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf (Germany).
After completing his bachelor´s degree in piano and composition in Colombia, he completed concert exam/master class in composition with Prof. Cornelius Schwehr at the Freiburg University of Music. Previously, Cárdenas had also completed his master´s degree in film music, also eith Prof. Schwehr, and in composition with Prof. Brice Pauset. He attended composition courses with Luis Bacalov, Benjamin Köthe, Mathias Steinauer, Vladimir Tarnopolnsky and Carola Bauckholt as well as the 48th International Summer Courses for Contemporary Music 2016 in Darmstadt (Germany).
He also works a lecturer and instructor in composition and music theory, and is currently teaching analysis at Los Andes University (Bogotá, Colombia). He also deals with the organisation of concerts, artistic and educational projects in the context of Audience Development.
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