Music

John Tavener

Born 28 January 1944. Died 12 November 2013.

20th century composer

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Tavener: Song for Athene

Sakari Oramo conducts a performance of John Tavener's Song for Athene.

Featured in BBC Music Clips
 

Biography

Sir John Kenneth Tavener (28 January 1944 – 12 November 2013) was a British composer, known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Protecting Veil, Song for Athene and The Lamb.

Tavener first came to prominence with his cantata The Whale, premiered in 1968. Then aged 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. The Lamb featured in the soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino's film The Great Beauty. Tavener was knighted in 2000 for his services to music and won an Ivor Novello Award.

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