He was associated with the Faculty of Music for 38 years, including a term as dean, 1970-77. He was founding director of the Institute for Canadian Music, 1985-90.
His more than 150 compositions include 4 operas, orchestral, choral, and chamber works, songs, and solo pieces. (For a list of titles and a discography, see www.musiccentre.ca.)
He has been active in such Canadian musical organizations as the Canadian League of Composers, the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, the Canadian University Music Society, the Société québécoise de recherche en musique, and the Canadian Musical Heritage Society, and has produced critical and research writings about Canadian music past and present.
Beckwith holds five honorary doctorates and is a member of the Order of Canada.