Celebrating the legacy of the composer Sir John Tavener and exploring the relationship between spirituality and music, with particular reference to the great faiths.

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About us

The Tavener Centre for the Study of Music and Spirituality was conceived after the death of the composer Sir John Tavener. It came about through collaborative meetings between the Dean of Winchester Cathedral, the Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman of the University of Winchester, Andrew Lumsden, Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral, and Lady Tavener. The Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Alan Titchmarsh and Prof. Joy Carter respectively, enabled the formation of the Tavener Centre as a research unit, based within the Faculty of Arts.

Sir John Tavener seated at the piano

Sir John Tavener’s creative relationship with the Cathedral and its choir was established in the 1970s and continues to this day. His link with the University of Winchester was established in 2007 with the award of an Honorary Doctorate. His Orthodox funeral was held in Winchester Cathedral in 2013, and a memorial was commissioned for 2016.

Aims of the Tavener Centre

  • To organise a festival of Sir John Tavener’s music every three years in the Winchester area
  • To organise conferences on music and spirituality associated with the festival, leading to publications in this area
  • To explore the relationship between spirituality and music, with particular reference to the great faiths
  • To explore and disseminate Sir John’s own understanding of the relationship between music and spirituality

Forthcoming events

Friday 16 November 2018: Tavener Centre International Study Day: Music, Spirituality and Wellbeing

The Study Day aims to examine the place of music in this complex world, especially its role in wellbeing, through the insights of musicologists, composers, listeners, teachers, therapists and performers. One example, highlighting the value of lived experience, might be a piece by Sir John Tavener through the eyes of a particular person.

Further details forthcoming. For any queries, contact the Tavener Centre Administrator, Holly Pye.

Download the Call for Papers here: Tavener Centre Study Day Nov 2018 CfP

Meet the Convenor

​Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman, Professor of Applied Music

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