He was born in London in 1944.
His dramatic cantata "The Whale" was the first performance by the London Sinfonietta. At the debut concert (in 1968), John Tavener's dramatic cantata "The Whale" took its audience by storm and led to Tavener's music being recorded on The Beatles' Apple Records label.
1969 saw the premiere of his 'Celtic Requiem', another Sinfonietta commission - a work which combines the rituals of a mass for the dead, with children's playground games and catches. The Beatles began to take note: Ringo Starr was given a tape of 'The Whale' and Tavener met John and Yoko for a dinner and music evening in Kensington - the next day Lennon had decided to issue Tavener's music on the newly formed Apple label. The Whale, Celtic Requiem, Coplas and Nomine Jesu were issued on LP.
Since that time Tavener has continued to show an originality of concept and an intensely personal idiom making his a voice quite distinct from those of his contemporaries.
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