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John Beckwith fonds
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John Beckwith fonds

  • CA OTUFM 10
  • collection
  • 1936-2018

Fonds consists of records created by John Beckwith during his career, predominantly relating to his compositions. Materials include sketches, drafts, final copies, texts, performance records, and related correspondence for most of his works, as well as programs and press notices, and other personal and professional documents. Records include correspondence with other musicians, both personal and professional; materials created through his work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; lecture notes from his time at the University of Toronto and other presentations; and documents pertaining to his various awards and honours.

Beckwith, John

Honours from Queen’s University and Victoria University, and for eightieth birthday

File contains photographs, nomination letters, introductory speeches, newspaper clippings, programs, and correspondence relating to John Beckwith’s awards and honours, including: Diplôme d’honneur (1996); an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University (1998); an honorary doctorate from Victoria University (1999); 80th birthday celebrations at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto (2007); Lauréat du Prix Amis de la musique canadienne (2010); Friends of Canadian Music Award (2011); the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013); Arts & Letters Award (2013); and Distinguished Fine Arts Alumni award from Oak Bay High School (2015).

Awards and honours

File contains correspondence, photographs, lectures, and programs relating to John Beckwith's honorary degrees from the University of Guelph, 1995; Queen's University, 1998; and the University of Victoria, 1999.

Personal correspondence

File includes letters from Raymond Dudley, Udo Kasemets, Bruce Mather, Colleen and James Reaney,R. Murray Schafer, Peter Williams, Robert Fleming, Stanley Bulley, Lee Hoiby, W. S. Morrison, Glenn Gould, Harry Somers, Jean Howson, Walter Herbert, Ray Pierce, John Sidgwick, John Hawkins, Lothar Klein, Jean Papineau-Couture, Timothy McGee, Dorothy Freed, Elizabeth Gallat-Morin, Chan Wing-Wah, Carl Morey, Otto Joachim, Peter Hatch, Albert Greer, Talivaldis Kenins, Andrew Benson -- Gwendoline Harper, Myra Hess, Spencer H. Elliott, Ira Dilworth, H. C. Hamilton, Leo Smith, Alberto Guerrero, Richard Johnston, John Felice, Gustav Ciamaga, Barbara Pentland, Robert Aitken, Ezra Schabas, Sydney Hodkinson, John Weinzweig, Ruth Humphrey, Pierre Souvairan, Lois Marshall, Gabriel Charpentier, Nicholas Slonimsky, William Wright, Stephen Young, Robert Stevenson, Harry Hickman, Lubomyr Melnyk.

Personal and professional correspondence

File contains letters to and from: Hugh Anson-Cartwright, Arved Ashby, Irene Bailey, Duane Bates, Simon Beck (Globe and Mail), Guido Bimberg, William Blissett, Frank Callaway, Austin Clarkson, Helen Coates (for Leonard Bernstein), Nathalie Cooke, L. M. Cragg, Richard Crawford, Gail Dixon, Colin Eatock, George E. Evelyn, jr., Timothy Findley, Dorothy Freed, Elisabeth Gallat-Morin, Alan Gillmor, Rebecca Green, Albert Greer, Linda Hutcheon, Helmut Kallmann, David Lasker (Globe and Mail), Marshall McLuhan, Timothy McGee, Jeffrey Richards, Stanley Saunders, Erich Schwandt, Ray Smith, Barbara Somers, Teresa Stratas, Brian Thompson, Tanya Tintner, William Toye, Jennifer Waring, Marlene Wehrle, and William and Patricia Wright.

Miscellaneous correspondence

File contains letters to and from: Joanna Anonychuck (VNMS), Edith Binnie, Gordon Burnett (Jubilate Singers), Chan Wing-Wah, Gustav Ciamaga, Buddy Clark (Catholic University), Timothy J. Cooper, Edward Deckard, David Dorward, Tannis Fast, Paul Freeman, Wayne Gilpin, Bryan Gooch, Ivan Hammond (Bowling Green Brass Quintet), Neil Houlton (OIC), Guy Huot, Nick Kaethler, Karen Kieser, Odaline de la Martinez, Allan Mattes, Paul McIntyre, John A. Miller, John Poole, Doreen Rao, E. Michael Richards, John Rimmer, Elliott Schwartz, Ed Strenkowski, Wayne Strongman, Barbara Sweete (Rhombus Media), and Don Wherry (Sound Symposium).

Correspondence with musicians

File contains various forms of correspondence from musicians, including letters; a poem “Fuguing Tune” by Bill Aide; a flexi disc recording of R. Murray Schafer’s “Dédicace” (1976), given to John Beckwith and Kathleen McMorrow for new year’s 1983; and the manuscript and parts for a string quartet, written by Jack Behrens for John Beckwith’s 80th birthday.

Music business correspondence

File includes correspondence from BMI/Berandol, Waterloo music, Canadian Music Centre, Gordon V. Thompson, Frederick Harris, Warner Chappell, Other publishers, PRO and SODRAC, RCI, AFM local 149, Music Promotion Foundation, and SOCAN.

Personal and professional correspondence

  • CA OTUFM 10-D-7
  • Dossier
  • 1964-1965, 1978, 1981-1982, 1994-2003, 2008
  • Fait partie de John Beckwith fonds

File contains letters to and from: Marla Aikman (NATS), Claude Beaudry, Jack Behrens, Juliette Bourassa-Trépanier, Blanche Carragher, Neil Carson (McMaster University), Brian Corman, Cliff Crawley and Beverley Diamond, Anne C. Dale (Dentistry, University of Toronto), Lisa Davidson (Path String Quartet), Eric Domville, Colin Eatock, Sandra Erdman, Maria Harley, Elaine Keillor, Susan Dyer Knight, Stuart Laughton, Margaret Leask, Khiet Lin (Fun with Composing), Jay MacPherson, Colin Miles, Glenn Morris (Zoology, University of Toronto), Gloria Jean Nagy, Peggy Walton Packard, David Parsons (Canadian Music Centre), Kenneth C. Roberts, Mary Robinson Ramsay, Michael J. Rudman, Ron Schoeffel (University of Toronto Press), Iain Scott, Pat Wardrop, Leo Wigdorchik (North York International Academy of Music), and James Willey (SUNY Geneseo).

Personal correspondence with musicians

File contains correspondence with: William Aide, Robert Aitken, Tim Brady, Howard Brown, Joan Bulley, Stanley Bulley, Chan Wing-Wah, Brian Cherney, Hugh Davidson, Ray Dudley, Charles Foreman, John Hawkins, Sydney Hodkinson, Talivaldis Kenins, Edna Knock, Hope Lee, Ramona Luengen, Michio Mamiya, Bruce Mather, Brock McElheran, Paul McIntyre, Geoffrey and Mary Lou Payzant, Kenneth Peacock, Lucien Poirier, James Rolfe, Clark Ross, R. Murray Schafer, Robert Stevenson, Stephen Walsh, Mark Widner, Peter Williams, Ken Winters, and Stephen Young.

Personal correspondence : Articles, diatribes

File contains letters to the editor: The Beaver, Bravo, University of Toronto Bulletin, The Globe and Mail, Musicanada (Myra Grimley), Musicworks, National Geographic, Saturday Night, SoundNotes, TSO News, The Torch (University of Victoria), Toronto Star, The Varsity, Words and Music -- Letters to and from: Murray Adaskin, Michael Albano (University of Toronto), Wray Armstrong (Toronto Symphony Orchestra), Bank of Nova Scotia, Elaine Calder (Canadian Opera Company), June Callwood, Care Canada, Adrienne Clarkson (CBC), COC Marketing, COC Publicity, Robertson Cochran (Globe and Mail), James Craig (University of Toronto), Gloria Dent (Guelph Spring Festival), Bronwyn Drainie, Howard Dyck (CBC), Edmonton Opera Guild, Esprit Orchestra, Michael Finlayson (University of Toronto), Fodor's Travel Publications, Jessica Fraser (Toronto Theatre Alliance), Jim Garrard (Toronto Arts Council Foundation), Wayne Gooding (Opera Canada), Michael Goodwin, Joanne Gradzinski (Guelph Spring Festival), Barbara Hall (Toronto City Hall), Dan Heap MP, Linda Hutcheon, William Kilbourn, Alison Latham (Oxford University Press), Murdo Mackinnon, Rick MacMillan (SOCAN), Lynn McDonald MP, Joanne Morrow (Canada Council), Ontario Court, Orchestras Canada, Robert Pritchard (University of Toronto), Doreen Rao (University of Toronto), John Reid (Canadian Music Centre, Calgary), Jeffrey Richards (Lancaster University), Robert Rosevear, St. James Press, Rodney Sharman, Georg and Tanya Tintner, William Toye, (Oxford University Press Canada), University of Toronto Parking Office, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Hazel Walker (Toronto Musicians' Association), and Tara Wilson (University of Toronto President's Circle).


Series includes awards and honours, radio transcripts, portraits, journal articles, and other bibliographic documents.

Personal correspondence

File contains letters from: Ira Dilworth (CBC), Raymond Dudley, Harry Freedman (re Canadian League of Composers), Glenn Gould, Alberto Guerrero, Myrtle Rose Guerrero, Betty Jean Hagen, Stuart Hamilton, W. B. Herbert (Canada Foundation), Helmut Kallmann, Oskar Morawetz, Clermont Pépin, James Reaney, Colin Sabiston (Globe and Mail), Harry Somers, and Robert Weaver (CBC).

Personal and professional correspondence

File includes correspondence (both outgoing and incoming) with Ray Dudley, Stephen Chatman, Carl Morey, Ronald Shepherd, Barbara Pritchard, Brian Cherney, Paul [McIntyre?], Brian Thompson, Alex Pauk, Mary Shepherd, Kimberley Francis, Stephen Walsh, Steven Philcox, Lawrence Wiliford, John Haines, James Campbell, Adrian Fung, Max Christie, Guillermo Silva-Maria, Hugh Anson-Cartwright, Stephanie K. Lind, Ezra Schabas, Ken Winters, Mark Fram, Gordon Christie, Jessie Iseler, Lydia Adams, Newfound Music, Noam Krieger, Daniel Weinzweig, Charles Foreman, Jan Washburn, John Robert Colombo, Judy Loman Umbrico, Peggy Walton Packard, Colleen Renihan, Stephanie Lind, Doug MacNaughton, Joan Watson, Elaine Biagi-Turner, Jay Macpherson, Joh Reeves, Mary Shepherd, and Brian Cherney. File also includes 2 photographs of “the barn.”

Correspondence and reviews regarding Unheard of

File contains reviews and correspondence from friends relating to John Beckwith’s memoirs “Unheard of: Memoirs of a Canadian Composer” (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012). The file includes letters from Ben Conway, and William Toye. The file also includes a copy of his contract with Wilfrid Laurier University Press for the publication of the book.

Other correspondence

Series consists of personal and professional correspondence, including letters from and to many Canadian musicians and composers.

Critical correspondence

File consists of John Beckwith’s letters to the editor, reviews, and related correspondence concerning music performances, publications, and institutions.

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