Renowned composer, teacher and Glasgow graduate Sir John Blackwood McEwen (1868-1948) bequeathed the residue of his estate to the University to help promote the performance of chamber music by composers of Scottish birth and descent.  Other composers resident in Scotland for a substantial period have also benefited from the fund.  In fulfilment of the terms of the bequest the University Court commissions annually a piece of chamber music for not more than five players and every three years a work for larger forces.

McEwen's own body of composed work is also held by the University and can be found in Special Collections.

List of commissions to date

1955 String Quartet No 3 Ian Whyte
1956 Directions for a Map Cedric Thorpe Davie
1956 *Sonata No 2 for viola and piano Ronald G Duncan
1956 Octet for Strings Iain Hamilton
1957 String Quartet No 2 Robert Crawford
1958 String Quartet No 1 Thea Musgrave
1959 Sonata for cello and piano Iain Hamilton
1959 *String Quartet No 3 Thomas Wilson
1960 String Quartet David Gwilt
1961 Sonata for violin and piano Thomas Wilson
1962 Chamber Concerto No 1 Thea Musgrave
1962 *Theme and Variations for clarinet quintet Sebastian Forbes
1963 Canzona for tenor, clarinet and string trio Buxton Orr
1964 Piano Trio Sebastian Forbes
1966 String Quartet No 3 David Dorward
1967 Piano Trio Martin Dalby
1968 String Trio op 21 John Purser
1968 *String Trio David Gow
1968 Sinfonia for seven instruments Thomas Wilson
1969 String Quartet  Rita McAllister
1970 Quaderno a Quattro John Maxwell Geddes
1971 Journeys and Places Robin Orr
1971 Piano Quintet Frank Spedding
1972 Fantasy String Quartet Isobel Dunlop
1973 Clarinet Quintet John McLeod
1974 Histoire David Dorward
1975 Liberation Edward McGuire
1976 Three Poems of Li Ch’ing-Chao Wilma Paterson
1977 Almost a Madrigal Martin Dalby
1978 The Ancient Pattern Morris Pert
1979 Channel Firing John Hearne
1980 Wind Octet Edward McGuire
1981 String Quartet William Sweeney
1982 Scotch Minstrelsy Judith Weir
1983 Diversions John Maxwell Geddes
1984 Sonata for cello and piano Peter Nelson
1985 Strange Fruit John Lunn
1986 String Quartet John McLeod
1987 Ricercare Robert Crawford
1988 Visions of a November Spring James MacMillan
1989 El Pueblo  William Sweeney
1990 Dead Roses Gordon McPherson
2009 Intimacy for string quartet John De Simone
2010 Piano Trio (Music for the pauses in a conversation
between John Cage and Morton Feldman)
David Fennessy
2011 Luna Helen Grime
2012 Tenebrae Martin Suckling
2013 Tristia II Hafliði Hallgrímsson
2014 Ixion Stuart MacRae
2015 String Quartet No. 3 (Slanting Rain) Alasdair Nicolson
2016 Ricercari Lyell Cresswell