Sir John Kenneth Tavener (28 January 1944 – 12 November 2013) 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. 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. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Sarum College in 2001.
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