The Prince of Wales attended a Thanksgiving Service for his friend, the celebrated British composer Sir John Tavener who passed away last November. Wednesday’s Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Sir John Tavener took place at Westminster Abbey.
Sources from The Prince’s official residence and offices at Clarence House clarified that Prince Charles attending the service was a private role, not a public duty. The Prince of Wales was not accompanied by any other members of the Royal Family.
Photos from the service show The Prince being warmly received by Sir John’s family- his widow Lady Maryanna Tavener and their children Theodora, Orlando and Sofia. The composer died in his home November 2013 at the age of 69.
Sir John Tavener was known as one of the most popular and celebrated composers in recent years. Noted accomplishments included his best-selling album The Protecting Veil, a 45-minute performance by cellist Steven Isserlis reflecting the life of the Virgin Mary. The Beatles released on their Apple label his oratorio The Whale in 1968.
Also well known in popular culture is his composition Song for Athene, which was sung by the Westminster Abbey Choir at the conclusion of the 1997 funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales. The Westminster Abbey Choir sang the piece as Diana’s casket was carried out of the Abbey.
Sir John won a Grammy in 2002 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. A Westminster Abbey spokesman shared that Prince Charles has a personal interest in the work of Sir John. The composer was a good friend of The Prince of Wales, and was also reported to be his favourite composer.
Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Service was performed by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster. An address was made by Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director of the famous performing arts centre The Barbican Centre. Sir John Tavener’s music was performed during the service, including They Are All Gone Into The World of Light and Funeral Ikos.