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John Tavener

Born: 28th January 1944, Wembley

Died: 12th November 2013, Child Okeford

Nationality: English

Sir John Kenneth Tavener was an English composer, known for his extensive output of choral religious works. Among his best known works are The Lamb (1982) The Protecting Veil, (1988) and Song for Athene (1993).

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 best-selling album, and Song for Athene which was sung at the funeral of Princess Diana.

Further Reading: Tavener

Interview, Matthew Barley on Tavener's The Protecting Veil

The boundary-crossing British cellist talks to David about his new recording of John Tavener's vast, sweeping concertante work for the cello.

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