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CBC radio programs

File contains scripts and correspondence pertaining to various CBC radio programs, including Music Diary, CJBC Views the Shows, Critically Speaking, New Records, and Two New Hours.

Memoirs : drafts, correspondence, reviews

File contains research notes, correspondence, re-writes, editorial comments, and press releases for John Beckwith’s memoirs “Unheard Of: Memoirs of a Canadian Composer” (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012). Beckwith’s research notes include a list of important personal and professional events from 1937 to 1990, various copied correspondence, and some original correspondence from Nadia Boulanger and Beckwith’s father.

Other activities

Series consists of administrative writings, correspondence, reviews, radio programs, and other documents relating to John Beckwith’s work at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the University of Toronto, and various other appearances at conferences, symposiums, and universities. Series also includes writings related to his publications.

Wendake / Huronia : research and performance records

File contains programs, sketches, libretto, correspondence, research notes, and grant reports relating to the commission, composition, and performance of John Beckwith’s composition Wendake/Huronia for solo narrators, alto solo, mixed chorus (SATB), and chamber ensemble (recorder, drum, percussion, guitar, organ, viola da gamba, and other bowed strings). Wendake/Huronia was written with support from the Ontario Arts Council (Music Commissioning program grant) for the Brookside Music Association (Midland, Ontario). It is made up of six panels (Raquettes, Champlain, Le Canotage, La Grande Fête des Âmes, Lamentation 1642, and  l’Avenir), with texts compiled from a variety of historical and modern sources. This file contains correspondence with those involved or consulted during the composition and correspondence relating to the premiere performance, from Georges Sioui, Michael J. Rudman, Ken MacDonald, John Steckley, and John French, among others. The file also includes final reports for the commissioning grant, Beckwith’s research notes, and notes, examples, and scripts from an illustrated talk by Beckwith on “Music for Huronia,” given at the University of Calgary (October 2, 2015); Arts & Letters Club of Toronto (October 29, 2015); McGill University (March 22, 2016); Seniors’ College, University of Toronto (January 11, 2017); and the Canadian Music Centre (May 28, 2017) as part of a day-long seminar on “Place, Politics, and Cultural Exchange: Indigenous-Settler Collaboration in Canadian Art Music.” The file also contains copies of programs for performances by Brookside Music (2015) and The Toronto Consort (2017).

Beckett songs : performance records

File contains two programs from performances of John Beckwith’s “Beckett Songs” as performed by Peter Groom (baritone), and Peter Higham (guitar) at Mount Allison University (premiere performance on December 3, 2008) and, on May 24, 2011 by Doug McNaughton (voice and guitar) as part of the vocal series at the Canadian Opera Company. File also includes a photograph of Groom, Higham, and Danise Ferguson (cello) from the premiere performance.

Ut re me fa sol la : performance and publication records

File contains a copy of the program, program note, and poster for the premiere performance of “Ut re mi fa sol la: six fantasies for solo guitar” by John Beckwith, performed by Peter Higham. File also contains an annotated proof of the piece with suggestions and corrections from Higham and related correspondence between Higham and Beckwith. “Ut re mi fa sol la” was written for Higham and commissioned with the support of Mount Allison University’s Marjorie Young Bell Fine Arts and Music Fund.

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