John Tavener

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Birthday
28, 1944
Birthplace
England
Death Date
Nov 12, 2013 (69)
Birth Sign
Aquarius
Birthday
28, 1944
Birthplace
England
Death Date
Nov 12, 2013 (69)

About

Famous for such religious instrumental and vocal works as, respectively, The Protecting Veil (for strings and cello) and The Lamb (for choir), this important 20th-century composer first rose to fame in the late 1960s after writing a much lauded cantata titled The Whale.

Before Fame

During his teenage years, he was a pianist with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and a choir director at a Presbyterian church in Kensington. He later trained at the Royal Academy of Music.

Trivia

In the late 1970s, he became a member of the Russian Orthodox Church. His religious conversion greatly influenced his music.

Family Life

His first marriage, to a Greek dancer named Victoria Maragopoulou, ended after less than a year. His second marriage, to Maryanna Schaefer, resulted in children named Sofia, Theodora, and Orlando.

Associated With

His 1977 chamber opera, A Gentle Spirit, was based on a work by the Russian fiction writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

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