John Tavener

A British composer with an unusual musical stance was 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 gradually became separated from mainstream composers by his concern with the spiritual and a music directed towards its expression. His stature within the musical community was rewarded by a British knighthood.

John Tavener died at his home in Dorset on 12 November 2013, aged sixty-nine.


A selection of articles about John Tavener

Ensemble. Teasing Musical References - Mike Wheeler celebrates Christmas with the Sitwell Singers and conductor Dexter Drown

Ensemble. Nicely Contrasted - Mike Wheeler listens to Christmas music from Derby Bach Choir, Derventio Brass and Old Vicarage School Choir

CD Spotlight. An Integral Part of Christmas - Carols from the SWR Vokal Ensemble, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully shaped and vocally refined and the voices come across clear and resonant.'

CD Spotlight. New and Unusual - Winter and Christmas music from Papagena, enjoyed by Keith Bramich. 'Everything sounds fresh ...'

Ensemble. Well Conveyed - Stainer, Tavener, Ireland, Matthew Martin and Vaughan Williams from Derby Choral Union, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. An Outstanding Example - Co-operation between the Sitwell Singers and Derby Chamber Music, featuring music by John Tavener, Bruckner and Beethoven, impresses Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Refreshingly Different - Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers, heard by Keith Bramich. '... clean ensemble singing.'

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