Death of UK countertenor, 50

Death of UK countertenor, 50


norman lebrecht

July 27, 2017

The countertenor Giles Pilgrim Morris died on July 13 at St Christopher’s Hospice from the effects of a glioblastoma brain tumour.

His funeral will be held at 2.30pm, on the 25th of July at St James Church, Sussex Gardens, London, W2 3UD.

Formerly a lay clerk at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Giles started singing professionally while studying at the University of London, as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He performed with the Gabrieli Consort, Musica Beata and the Aberdeen-based consort group Cantamus Hodie and was involved in educational work with the Music of Life Foundation.




  • Ungeheuer says:

    Very sad and RIP. Hopefully he received the proper care he deserved without financial ruin to him or his loved ones. Just like John McCain is expected to receive for the same diagnosis since his solid health plan probably covers the treatment. And if not, he can afford it without ruin. Most others may not be so lucky if the administration gets its way.

    • Nik says:

      It’s not like you to make such an off-topic comment.
      “The administration” has absolutely no relevance here. He would have been treated by the UK NHS, which, while it has its flaws, does not drive anyone to financial ruin.

      • Una says:

        Well put, Nik. I don’t think some people realize how blessed we are with the NHS – flaws as there maybe but credit card payment and ruination, no! And fine treatment as well.

    • Una says:

      This is Britain with our wonderful NHS that works really well in a major crisis and, yes, St Christopher’s Hospice – and St Joseph’s in Hackney and St Anne’s in Manchester – to name three so well known and that are NHS-run. Couldn’t ask for better. I know of plenty who have died there, including my own mother.. May he rest on peace – it’s no age to die …

      • Una says:

        If there is one thing that’s the envy of the world in Britain is the National Health Service – free at the point of delivery. Why the US has never adopted it just beats me.

        • Una says:

          And free to everyone regardless of background, income or lack of it. It has its problems but my goodness it’s a blessing, and often better than private care when major illness or major surgery is involved.

  • Isobel M says:

    I am Giles’ sister. Thank you so much for your concern. Giles was fortunate in that yes, he did receive “the proper care he deserved without financial ruin to him or his loved ones”, thanks mainly to the NHS and to St Christopher’s hospice in SE23. (Grateful for small hospice donations in Giles’ name if you are able to, or alternatively please donate unwanted goods to their charity shops).
    Glioblastoma is a stark diagnosis and John McCain, despite his wealth, will not be around much longer.
    Giles’ funeral was marvellous: it seems the funeral director commented that he had never seen a send-off like it! His friends in the choir did him proud: thank you. X

    • Ungeheuer says:

      My most sincere condolences to you and your family for your loss.

    • Una says:

      What a loss, dear Isobel. St Christopher’s is just wonderful and, yes free as the population has paid into the NHS for everyone.

      You and all the family will miss him dearly

    • Liam Waldron says:

      Dear Isobel,
      only last night did I hear that Giles had died. Please accept my sincerest condolences.
      I knew Giles when he lived in Aberdeen. I used to sing in the Cathedral Voices at St Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral and I got to know Giles there (I hasten to add that I was not in the same league as Giles, or anything remotely like it). I was completing a PhD in Theology at the time and, as I’m a Catholic, used to run from Mass at the Catholic Cathedral, down Union St and King St in Aberdeen to be on time for the service at the other cathedral! Giles used to laugh at that.
      I then lost track of him when he moved back to London, but about four or five years ago, while waiting for a tube in some station or other in London, I spotted him getting into another carriage. I could have called out and said hello, but I didn’t with all the crowds getting on the train. I regret that now.
      Again, please accept my sincere condolences.

    • Suzie says:

      Isobel, I don’t know if you remember me. I’m Suzie, my brother was a good friend of Malcolm’s. I’m so very sad about the loss of your younger brother. Xxx I have found memories of you all xx

  • Isobel M says:

    – To listen to Giles one last time, go to:

    – Here he is on Radio 3, go to 2 hrs 02 min (after the weather):

    • Peter G Dyson says:

      Isobel – I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news about Giles and my sincere condolences to you and all his family. I knew Giles from Felsted (Prep) School and beyond (Giles was a year ahead of me) and have sung with him on many occasions at school and for several years after on various choir trips.. Sadly our path did not cross again until an OF arts/media event a couple of years ago at itv studios. I only heard the shocking news yesterday via a friends’ fb page, so sadly was not able to make the funeral. Again, my sincere condolences to you all. Peter