A British composer of today with an unusual musical stance is John Kenneth Tavener (not to be confused with his ancestor, the fourteenth century composer with a similar name, John Taverner).
He was born in Wembley, London on 28 January 1944 and has gradually become separated from mainstream composers by his concern with the spiritual and a music directed towards its expression. His stature within the musical community has been rewarded by a British knighthood.
John Tavener died at his home in Dorset on 12 November 2013, aged sixty-nine.
A selection of M&V articles about John Tavener
CD Spotlight. Sonic Distinction - The British vocal octet Voces8, heard by the late Howard Smith. '... a luminous selection of pieces spanning over four hundred years ...'
CD Spotlight. Vibrant Testimony - Music inspired by the Virgin Mary, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... overflowing with a translucent beauty ...'
Ensemble. Joy for the Soul - Giuseppe Pennisi visits Sagra Musicale Umbra
CD Spotlight. Highly Recommended - Music for Advent intrigues Gerald Fenech. '... one of the discs of the year as far as choral music is concerned ...'
CD Spotlight. A Hint of Bitters - Music by William Ferris, heard by Howard Smith. 'Well worth investigating.'
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
CD Spotlight. An Undisturbed Evenness - Choral music 'from a Russian cathedral', heard by Paul Sarcich. '... engineered to tranquillity ...'
Record Box. Nothing Happens - 'the sound of one', reviewed by Malcolm Tattersall
Ensemble. A Fascinating Work - The first performance of Gabriel Jackson's Requiem, reviewed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Pastoral Pleasures - English music for flute, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... the Tavener alone would justify the purchase ...'
Record Box. Excellent Singing - A Christmas selection from Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, enjoyed by Patric Standford
Expressive Power - A recital by cellist Tim Hugh impresses Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Names of Allah - Malcolm Miller reflects on a John Tavener first performance
Profile. Sounds amazing - Bill Newman talks to Jeremy Backhouse, Director of the Vasari Singers
CD Spotlight. Sweet ecstasy - Music by John Tavener, reviewed by Ron Bierman. 'Recommended for those who like Tavener or Anonymous 4.'
CD Spotlight - Unquestioning faith. 'If Tavener can sometimes seem a victim of his own mannerisms, the performers under Paul Goodwin have done him proud.' A CD of John Tavener's choral music, considered by Robert Anderson
Cosmic Failure - Malcolm Miller on the world première of Tavener's 'Song of the Cosmos'
CD Spotlight - Beautiful moments. '... "The World" and the six short Russian songs show Tavener at his best ...' The Vanbrugh Quartet plays John Tavener, with Patric Standford
Epistle of Love - Malcolm Miller was at the world première of Sir John Tavener's recent song cycle
Luminous setting - Shirley Ratcliffe attends a John Tavener première