Geoffrey Burgon

Last updated 09 January 2020

Geoffrey Alan Burgon

Born: Tuesday 15th July 1941
Died: Tuesday 21st September 2010 (age: 69)


Geoffrey Burgon was a British composer notable for his television and film themes.

He provided the Incidental Music for Terror of the Zygons and The Seeds of Doom. 

Burgon was born in Hampshire in 1941, and taught himself the trumpet in order to join a jazz band at school (Pewley Grammar School, Guildford). He entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with the intention of becoming a professional trumpet player. However, under the direction of his mentor, composer Peter Wishart, he found that he was more interested in composition. Burgon initially supported himself and his family as a freelance jazz trumpeter. At the age of 30 he sold his instruments, except one, and devoted himself to composition. He lived through a lengthy period of poverty before critical success eventually brought financial reward.

The critical success of his Requiem at the Three Choirs Festival in 1976 sealed his reputation as a composer and led to many commissions from major organisations. Continuing the tradition established by Benjamin Britten, Burgon¬ís fluent and effortless language was particularly well suited to the voice and he had a long-standing collaboration with counter-tenor James Bowman. Burgon also had considerable success writing for film and television and twice received both BAFTA and Ivor Novello Awards. His style was essentially conservative, influenced by Benjamin Britten and medieval music rather than modern styles.

He married Janice Elizabeth Garwood in 1963 and had a son and a daughter. The marriage was later dissolved. In 1992 he married Jacqueline Krofchak (professional name Kroft), a Canadian pianist and singer; they had a son, Daniel. He was a keen cricketer and had written detective novels in his spare time.