27th November 1860
16th April 1935
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Victor Ewald was a Russian composer of music, mainly for conical brass instruments.
Ewald was a professor of Civil Engineering in St. Petersburg, and was also the cellist with the Beliaeff Quartet for sixteen years. This was the most influential ensemble in St. Petersburg in the late 19th century, introducing much of the standard quartet literature to Russian concertgoers. He also collected and published Russian folk songs. Ewald’s professional life, like that of many of his musical contemporaries, was in an entirely different field; that of a civil engineer, in which he excelled, being appointed in 1900 as professor and manager of the Faculty of Construction Materials at the Institute of Civil Engineers. An obituary signed by his fellow professors of the I.C.E. makes mention of a profound heritage in the development of materials production for construction resulting from Ewald’s work, and suggests that “…an entire industry for the production of brick and cement manufacturing is beholden to him”. Brass players however are indebted to him for something very different – a series of quintets which have become a staple of the repertoire and which represent almost the only, and certainly the most extended examples of original literature in the Romantic style.