Franz Berwald


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(b Stockholm, 1796; d Stockholm, 1868).

Swed. composer (mainly self‐taught) and violinist. Violinist in Stockholm court orch. 1812–18 and 1820–8. Won scholarship in Berlin 1829, where he comp. opera Der Verräter. Lived for time in Vienna, where opera Estrella di Soria was comp., also orch. works. Returned to Sweden, where his work was unfavourably received, so went back to Vienna, where Jenny Lind sang in his opera Ein Ländlisches Verlobungsfest in Schweden (A Swedish country betrothal, 1847). Berwald opened an orthopaedic institute in Berlin in 1835, running it successfully for 6 years. From 1850 to 1859 he was manager for a glass works in Sandö, N. Sweden, and wrote on social issues of the day. Prof. of comp. Swedish Royal Academy of Mus. from 1867. His comps. were neglected until the 20th cent. His chamber mus. is rewarding, also his 4 syms., of which only No.1 in G minor (Sérieuse) (1842) was perf. in his lifetime. No.3 in C major (Singulière) (1845) has become relatively popular. The best‐known of his 11 operas (several lost) is the last, Queen of Golconda, 1864. Also wrote vn. conc.; pf. conc.; 3 str. qts.; 2 pf. quintets; and Septet in B.

Subjects: Music.

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