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Most of Tavener's music is explicitly religious, some influenced by late Stravinsky. His most notable works include The Protecting Veil, Song For Athene and The Whale.
Tavener studied with Berkeley and Lumsdaine at the Royal Academy of Music. Most of his music is explicitly religious, some influenced by late Stravinsky. His biblical cantata The Whale (1966) enjoyed popularity. An early leaning towards Catholic devotion reached a consummation in the Crucifixion meditation Ultimos ritos (1972) and the opera Thérèse (1979). In 1976 he converted to the Russian Orthodox faith, composing in a simpler, luminous style. Works from this period are often extremely long. His best known works are his cello concerto The Protecting Veil (1989) and his simple Song for Athene (heard by millions at the funeral of Princess Diana).
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