More sadness: Death of major TV composer, 65

More sadness: Death of major TV composer, 65


norman lebrecht

August 01, 2019

The publisher of Barrington Pheloung has announced his death at the age of 65.

Pheloung, an Australian who settled in England, came to prominence with music for the long-running TV series, Inspector Morse. For the ast seven years he composed the Endeavour series,

His film credits included Hilary and Jackie, Nostradamus and Truly Madly Deeply.


  • Silversled says:

    I’m sorry to hear this. His music enhanced any television series or film he wrote for. A sad loss.

  • Maureen Toy says:

    He was such a terrific Composer. He will be much missed .
    VALE Barrington Pheloung RIP xxx

  • so sad! Love his Morse and MM. And Hilary and Jackie… what shall I say? It’s not his fault that the film a jerk was!

    • Eric says:

      Not sure what you mean by MM? If you mean Midsomer Murders, he didn’t write that – it was Jim Parker.

  • David King says:

    So very very sad to hear the death of Barrington. He and his music drew me into the world of classical music and totally change my outlook on life. This helped me appreciate the finer things of life itself. I began to look at art, and drama in a totally new and exciting way, For which i am eternally grateful to Barrington. So pleased to have known him through his music, Which will live on forever. God bless him.

  • Edmund Coxon says:

    This is dreadfully sad news! A supremely decent and entirely engaging man, musician and composer. I cannot recall any times working for him that were anything other than pleasurable and uplifting.

  • V.Lind says:

    His television and film music, as much as any I have encountered, was superbly integrated with the work it was accompanying (“serving” would be the wrong word for the partnerships he had in the series involving Morse, Lewis and Endeavour, the young Morse). I just took a quick look at his IMDb profile and realised I have heard his work many more times than I knew, over many more years. His FAME was to a large extent based on the Morse theme; his REPUTATION was based on the music within the episodes or films.

    It was fun to see him as the choirmaster in a couple of Morse episodes: I suspected it was he before I knew as he looked like someone of slightly Asian background.

    Gone too young — it would have been good to have the benefit of his music for many years to come.

    • Colin G says:

      I also thought that he had an Asian (probably SE) name. Internet research this morning indicates that it is a manufactured name, changed from Phelan by his great-grandfather on his emigration to New Zealand (sic).

  • Rob Price says:

    Barrington. You’ll be missed by so many especially you’re family, my deepest condolences to you all. It was a pleasure to have known you. kind gentle and generous person you were. RIP Baz

  • Martin Cooke says:

    Remembering Barry “Bazza” Pheloung

    (10 May 1954 – 31 July 2019)
    my schoolmate who was also born in Manly.

    Just shocked to hear he has passed away at his home on the North Coast of New South Wales. Baz was with us for our 40th 1972 HSC reunion and was loads of fun.

    In 1969 we were both in our school cadet band and chosen for the army cadets musicians specialist course, Barry as a drummer and I was a trumpeter.

    A great guy who became an internationally renowned composer and remained Bazza.

    Requiescat in Pace Barry.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I absolutely LOVE his music for the Morse series and its spinoffs.
    I’ll be watching (and listening) to those series with renewed attention to the music.
    Thank you, Mr. Pheloung.

  • Sue Eking says:

    He bought my parents house and preserved it with love and care . Converting one of the old garages to a state of the art recording studio. We are all devastated. Rest in peace dear Barrington.

  • NCM Armstrong says:

    Barrington Pheloung was a great composer. I discovered his music through my love of “Morse” and only recently came upon the classical version “Benedictus”. The world is more grey and a less interesting place without him in it.
    Tibi gratias ago pro tui ingenio et arte.

  • Paul Rowland says:

    I too, like Martin Cooke, was a classmate of Barry. From the moment I heard him playing on guitar at a school fete Cream’s Crossroads song at the age of 13, I knew he was bound for greatness.
    Barry had a wonderful sense of humour too and never took things too seriously.
    His classical music is hauntingly beautiful… such a talent.
    Til we meet again Bazza.