Barrington Pheloung

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Barrington Pheloung
Birth nameBarrington Somers Pheloung
Born(1954-05-10)10 May 1954
Manly, New South Wales, Australia
Died1 August 2019(2019-08-01) (aged 65)[1][2]
Occupation(s)Composer, conductor
Years active1973–2019
Spouse(s)Anita Griffin (1979 – ?) (divorced)
Heather Lovejoy (? – 31 July 2019) (his death)

Barrington Somers Pheloung (10 May 1954 – 1 August 2019)[1] was an Australian composer based in the United Kingdom.[3] He composed several television theme tunes and music, particularly for Inspector Morse and its follow-up series, Lewis, and prequel Endeavour.

Early life and studies[edit]

Pheloung was born 10 May 1954 in Manly, New South Wales, and grew up in Sydney's northern beaches suburbs.[3][4] He began playing R&B guitar in clubs, but his discovery of Bach in his late teens drew him to the classical repertoire.[5]

In 1972 at age of 18, Pheloung moved to London where he studied guitar, double bass, and composition at the Chiswick Music Centre, then part of Chiswick Polytechnic (now Brunel University), before proceeding to the Royal College of Music to study composition with John Lambert and guitar under John Williams and Julian Bream.[4] There he also took instruction in conducting. In his second year, he received his first commission for a ballet score.[4]


Pheloung is best known for the theme and incidental music to the Inspector Morse television series, for which he was nominated for Best Original Television Music at the British Academy Television Awards in 1991;[6] the sequel Lewis, and the prequel Endeavour. He also composed for dance companies such as the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and for events including the opening night of the Millennium Dome.[7] Pheloung also wrote the theme music for the BBC television series Dalziel and Pascoe.

His film work included Hilary and Jackie (1998), based on the life of the cellist Jacqueline du Pré, for which he was nominated for the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music at the 52nd British Academy Film Awards.[8] Other works include Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990), Twin Dragons (1992), Shopping (1994), Nostradamus (1994), The Mangler (1995), Touching Wild Horses (2002), Shopgirl (2005), Little Fugitive (2006) and A Previous Engagement (2008). He also composed the scores to Revolution Software's adventure games In Cold Blood and three Broken Sword video games.

Pheloung's other work included music for the Sydney Opera House's Twentieth Birthday Celebrations and he contributed to the music for the film Truly, Madly, Deeply, in which he also appeared.[9] He composed the incidental music for the first series of Boon.

In 2009 he composed the music for 1983, the concluding episode of the Channel 4 drama series Red Riding.[10]

Personal life and death[edit]

Pheloung married Anita Griffin in 1979, the couple had two children together, but the marriage ended in divorce. He later married Heather Lovejoy with whom he had a further two children. He died in August 2019 at the age of 65 of respiratory failure.[11][12][13][14][15] He was survived by his second wife and his four children.


  • Red Riding, 2009
  • Lewis, Music from Series 1 & 2, 2008
  • And When Did You Last See Your Father? 2007
  • Shopgirl, 2006
  • The Magic of Inspector Morse, 2000
  • Inspirations, 2001
  • Hilary and Jackie, 1998
  • The Passion of Morse, 1997
  • The Essential Inspector Morse Collection, 1995
  • Shopping, 1994
  • Nostradamus, 1994
  • Days of Majesty, 1993
  • Inspector Morse Vol. 3, 1992
  • Inspector Morse Vol. 2, 1992
  • Inspector Morse Vol. 1, 1991


Video games[edit]


  1. ^ a b Loewenthal, Paul (11 August 2019). "Barrington Pheloung obituary". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 11 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Barrington Somers Pheloung". Memories.
  3. ^ a b Shand, John (7 April 2001). "Morse Coda". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 10.
  4. ^ a b c Strachan, Laurie (6 February 1999). "Composer in exile". The Australian.
  5. ^ Lambert, Catherine (4 February 2001). "Composer sings the blues". Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia). p. 24.
  6. ^ "Television Nominations 1991". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  7. ^ Savage, Mark (1 August 2019). "Inspector Morse composer Barrington Pheloung dies". Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Film Nominations 1998". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Truly Madly Deeply". 1 January 1991.
  10. ^ "Red Riding". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  11. ^ BBC Obituary
  12. ^ Guardian obituary
  13. ^ Telegraph obituary
  14. ^ Morse universe Obituary
  15. ^ The Times obituary

External links[edit]