One-time orthopedist, saw mill manager and head of a glass factory, Franz Berwald became better known for his musical work only after his death. He was raised in a musical family, but his father’s death led to harder times financially so he paused his musical career to get steadier and better paying jobs.
His symphonies and operas were always more popular in Austria and Germany than in his native Sweden. He was awarded the Order of the Polar Star (what a great name!) in 1866 for his services to music, but even at this point there was opposition to his proposed appointment as a professor at the Stockholm Conservatory.
I can honestly say I’ve never heard any Franz Berwald, so I’m going to start with Symphony No 1. Check out the video below or on Youtube.