RIP Julian Bream

Classical guitarist and lute player Julian Bream has died at his home in Wiltshire at the age of 87.

The virtuoso musician performed globally during his heyday, and was renowned for his recordings of new compositions and masterclasses.

He won four Grammy Awards and received 20 nominations between 1960 and 85.

A self-taught musician, Bream learned playing to radio dance bands with the lute his father bought from a sailor on London’s Charing Cross Road in 1947.

As a child prodigy, his early recitals led to him being “acknowledged as one of the most remarkable artists of the post-war era”, according to the Royal Academy of Music.

Roxanna Panufnik: how I made Tavener’s 99 Words sing

John Tavener

John Tavener was an inspiration, a mentor and a friend for many years. Setting his profoundly moving 99 Words to music was a final privilege

December, 1997: a Christmas celebration in a darkened Westminster Cathedral packed with hundreds of hushed people holding candles. And Sir John Tavener’s sublime Hymn to the Mother of God, with its overlapping harmonic waves, washing over us from the Lady Chapel – this indelibly imprinted musical experience was formative to me as a listener and composer.

Most people will have heard John’s music outside the concert hall – most famously his Song for Athene at Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral, or on film soundtracks or even on a 2002 ad for phone company Orange. His music is direct in its message: beautific simplicity, performed – by many of the world’s greatest musicians – with passionate intensity. Through his gradually building harmonies and structures, you can hear the sense of awe one imagines he drew from his [ . . . ]

Source: Roxanna Panufnik: how I made Tavener’s 99 Words sing