Sir John Tavener has died aged 69.
Tavener was best known for his works The Whale, premiered in 1968 and released on the Beatles’ Apple label, and The Protecting Veil, which was written after a suggestion from the cellist Stephen Isserlis.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and converted to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1977, something which became a strong influence on his music. The Lamb , a choral setting of the William Blake work of the same name written in 1982, continues to be a popular and regularly performed piece.
His ‘Song For Athene’ was played at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, bringing his music to a worldwide audience. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s Millennium Honours List in 2000.
His last notable composition, Love Duet form the Play Of Krishna , was completed in 2013 and performed as part of this year’s Manchester International Festival. Tavener suffered from ill health throughout his life. He had a stroke in his thirties, and had Marfan Syndrome.