The international festival From Taverner to Tavener: Five Centuries of English Sacred Music and the eponymous conference, dedicated to the prominent British composer Sir John Tavener (1944–2013), will be held at the Moscow Conservatory from 21 to 23 September 2014.
The festival programme includes a selection of works the late John Tavener personally put together specifically for Russian audiences. The concerts will feature music by Tudor composers John Taverner (ca. 1490–1545), a direct ancestor of his contemporary namesake, and Robert Fayrfax (1464–1521), presenting English Renaissance pieces previously unknown in Russia.Contemporary sacred music will be represented by selected works by Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) and Arvo Pärt (b. 1935), whom Sir John Tavener considered to be close to his own creative style.
Sir John Tavener’s body of works shows multiple ties with Russian sacred music and Russian culture overall. Influenced by Russian literature, the composer set to music works by both Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anna Akhmatova. A cappella music is one of the core elements of Sir John Tavener’s work, and it is no wonder the composer often found inspiration in Russian sacred music, as he converted to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1977.