I was saddened to read of the death of the composer John Tavener this week. Of his music, what most impressed me was his dramatic cantata, The Whale, which has to be heard to be believed! It's still my favourite, along with the Celtic Requiem (Requiem for Jenny Jones). These early pieces made a deep impression on me - one which remains.
I met him once or twice around 1980. I'd just left university at the time and, inspired by The Whale, I had plans to study composition with him. Unfortunately, as they say, life is what happens to you while you're making plans, and it turned out this particular plan didn't come off. I have memories of a kind, attentive man who really sought to encourage me, a scruffy, disorganised young man with a tendency to b.o. and whose clothes had obviously shrunk in the wash. He was also the only person -to date- to offer me a lift in a Rolls Royce.
This post is one of a series on post-WWII British Composers. Click on the British Composers label to read them all.
1 year ago