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Berwald, Johan Fredrik (Johann Friedrich)

sweden stockholm petersburg musician

Berwald, Johan Fredrik (Johann Friedrich), Swedish violinist and composer, cousin of Franz (Adolf) Berwald; b. Stockholm, Dec. 4, 1787; d. there, Aug. 26, 1861. He was a member of a musical family of German nationality that settled in Sweden. A precocious musician, he played the violin in public at the age of 5; took lessons in composition with Abbé Vogler during the latter’s stay in Sweden. At 16 he went to St. Petersburg and served as concertmaster in the Russian Imperial Court Orch. (1803–12). Returning to Sweden, he was appointed chamber musician to the King of Sweden, a post he held from 1815 until 1849; also conducted (from 1819) the Royal Orch. in Stockholm. He wrote his first sym. when he was 9 years old, but in his mature years he devoted himself mainly to theatrical productions. One of his light operas, L’Héroïne de l’amour , to a French libretto, was produced in St. Petersburg in 1811. In Stockholm he was also active as a teacher; among his pupils was his cousin Franz Berwald.

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