John Tavener

Biography

Since breaking through to the mainstream with his 1968 cantata, The Whale (a musical reading of the biblical story of Jonah), which was recorded and released by The Beatles’ Apple label, the works of John Tavener have been a mainstay of the classical world.

The plaintive compositions of the late Tavener brought choral music to the masses, often through their usage in multi-award winning movies such as Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty and Michael Winterbottom’s Philomena.
The former organist and choirmaster went on to win the Ivor Novello Classical Music Award in 2005 and the Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for his 2000 liturgical drama, Lamentations And Praises.
The graduate of the Royal Academy of Music is perhaps best known for his 1993 composition, Song for Athene, which was performed at the funeral of Diana Princess of Wales.