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Sir John Kenneth Tavener (1944-2013), Composer

Sitter in 6 portraits
Studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music where his teachers included Sir Lennox Berkeley. His career was launched with the success of his dramatic cantata, The Whale in 1968, which was recorded on The Beatles' Apple label. Since 1977, when he joined the Russian orthodox church, his music has been increasingly focused on church liturgy. His work is widely popular with a distinct and original voice and includes The Protecting Veil (1987), Akathist of Thanksgiving, (1988) and Song for Athene (1993), which was sung at Princess Diana's funeral and Requiem (2008).

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Sir John Kenneth Tavener

by Michael R. Taylor
oil on canvas, 2001
NPG 6607


Sir John Kenneth Tavener

by Clive Barda
bromide fibre print, April 1977
NPG x45147


Sir John Kenneth Tavener

by George Newson
bromide fibre print, Spring 1992
NPG x46483


Sir John Kenneth Tavener

by Malcolm Crowthers
colour print on Kodak paper from Fujichrome original, 1993
NPG x88655


Sir John Kenneth Tavener

by Norman McBeath
bromide print, 11 May 1999
NPG x88770


Sir John Kenneth Tavener

by Nicholas Elder
black and white matt print on card mount, July 1973
NPG x4048