Death of UK composer, 59

Death of UK composer, 59


norman lebrecht

June 25, 2020

The prolific film and TV composer Jonathan Whitehead has died of a heart attack.

His TV shows included Green Wing, Nathan Barley, Smack the Pony and the Graham Norton Show.

He was fond of quoting his Bristol University tutor, Derek Bourgeois, who greeted new students with the declaration: ‘Music is dead – there’s nothing after Stravinsky.’ Bourgeois enjoyed phenomenal success as a TV composer and phenomenal failure as composer of 116 symphonies.




  • Tim says:

    Bourgeois was also hugely successful as a composer for brass band. His Concerto Grosso, originally for brass ensemble and later rescored for band, is fantastic.

  • Edward says:

    This is very sad to read. The music in Green Wing was excellent. But this is also hugely disrespectful to Derek Bourgeois to refer to him in those terms.