General News

Sir John Tavener dies at 69

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Nov 12, 2013 | 12:24pm EST

Leading British composer Sir John Tavener has died, aged 69. The musician, who battled illness for years, passed away on Tuesday (12Nov13), six years after suffering a debilitating heart attack in 2007. Tavener, who studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London, rose to fame in the 1960s and became known for his religious works. His most popular compositions include The Whale, The Protecting Veil, and Song For Athene, which was played at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. However, he will perhaps be best remembered for his choral compositions for William Blake's poem The Lamb, which is traditionally performed as a Christmas carol. He was recognised for his contributions to the music industry in 2000 when he was honoured with a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. Taverner was plagued with health problems throughout his life, suffering a stroke in his 30s and undergoing heart surgery and an operation to have a tumour removed in his 40s. He was also diagnosed with genetic disorder Marfan syndrome, which can cause heart defects.

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