Scottish composer and teacher John Blackwood McEwen was born in Hawick on 13 April 1868 and grew up in Glasgow, where he studied at the university.
Initially he worked as a choirmaster in Glasgow and then at Lanark parish church, then moved to London, studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Frederick Corder, Tobias Matthay and Ebenezer Prout.
Later he taught for over a quarter of a century at the Royal Academy of Music in London as professor of harmony and composition, finally becoming principal of the Academy. He was also president of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and co-founded the Society of British Composers.
His output, late-Romantic in style, includes a comic opera The Royal Rebel, orchestral music, concertos, chamber music, and vocal, choral, piano and organ works.
He was very left-wing, politically, writing about abolishing money and total democracy.
McEwan died in London on 14 June 1948, aged eighty.