John Tavener at Manchester International Festival on July 7

John Tavener at Manchester International Festival on July 7
In 2014 John Tavener will celebrate his seventieth birthday. The celebrations begin early with a feature at this year’s Manchester International Festival in July.

Inspired by the great religious traditions, Tavener’s music is celebrated for its enduring beauty and deeply spiritual outlook. His music has connected with audiences around the world on a profoundly emotional level, and has brought him commercial and critical acclaim rarely enjoyed by living composers.

The evening will include three world premieres. The Love Duet fromKrishna’ - Tavener’s as yet unperformed opera - sung by John Mark Ainsley, which has been described by the composer as ‘the most ecstatic music that I have ever written’. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is Tavener’s recent exploration into the work of Tolstoy, performed by cellist Steven Isserlis with bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu.

Through MIF Creative, Tavener will also be working directly with the faiths that have influenced him; If Ye Love Me is a new piece for the MIF Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir, formed from faith communities across Greater Manchester working together to explore the beauty and power of voices raised in praise.
The choir will also perform Tavener’s Mahamatar, set to Werner Herzog’s film Pilgrimage, alongside special guest Abida Parveen. Completing the evening is a rare performance of In Alium, Tavener’s radical Proms commission from 1968.


Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
An evening of new and rarely performed work with the BBC Philharmonic and special guest Abida Parveen
Sunday July 7, 7.30pm


Love Duet from 'Krishna'
World premiere
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
World premiere
If ye love me
World premiere
In Alium

Steven Isserlis cello
John Mark Ainsley tenor
Jonathan Lemalu bass-baritone
Elin Manahan Thomas soprano
Abida Parveen special guest
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
MIF Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir
Beth Allen choir director
Tecwyn Evans conductor

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