John Tavener

Born 28 January 1944. Died 12 November 2013.

20th century composer

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Sir John Tavener: Monument for Beethoven

Sam Laughton conducts a performance of Sir John Tavener's Monument for Beethoven.

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Sir John Kenneth Tavener (28 January 1944 – 12 November 2013) was a British composer, known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Whale, The Protecting Veil, Song for Athene and "The Lamb", a choral composition that was included in the soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino's film The Great Beauty. He began as a prodigy; in 1968, at the age of 24, he was described by The Guardian as "the musical discovery of the year", while The Times said he was "among the very best creative talents of his generation." During his career he became one of the best known and popular composers of his generation, most particularly for The Protecting Veil, which as recorded by cellist Steven Isserlis became a bestselling album, and Song for Athene which was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana. Tavener was knighted in 2000 for his services to music and won an Ivor Novello Award.

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