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Sir John Blackwood McEwen

Sir John Blackwood McEwen (13 April 1868 – 14 June 1948) was a Scottish classical composer and educator.

John Blackwood McEwen was born in Hawick in 1868. After initial training in Glasgow, he studied with Ebenezer Prout, Corder and Tobias Matthay at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After returning to Scotland, where he was a choirmaster and teacher at Greenock and Glasgow, he was invited to become Professor of Harmony and Composition at the RAM, from 1898 until 1924, and was Principal between 1924 and 1936.

With Frederick Corder and Tobias Matthay, McEwen co-founded the Society of British Composers in 1905, and also served as president of Incorporated Society of Musicians.

He was knighted in 1931 and died in 1948 in London, aged 80. Upon his death he bequeathed the residue of his estate to the University of Glasgow to help promote the performance of chamber music by composers of Scottish birth and descent. The bequest annually funds the commissioning of a new piece of Scottish Chamber Music and a public premiere.

He was married at the time of his death to Catharine, and survived by children John (composer) and Annabel, grandchildren John (author), Jacques Hetu (composer), Sofia Ruiz (violin), Joseph (composer) and Alastair McEwen. Great grandchildren of some note include Stéphane Tétreault of Montreal (cello) and Emju McEwen of London (violin).

The National Probate Calendar has John married to Hedwig Ethel née Cole.

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