John Beckwith is a Canadian composer, writer, pianist, teacher, and administrator.
Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he studied piano with Alberto Guerrero at the Toronto Conservatory of Music in 1945. He received a Mus.B. in 1947 and a Mus.M. in 1961 from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. From 1950 to 1951, he studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He started teaching in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto in 1952. From 1970 to 1977, he was the dean of the faculty. He was founding director of the Institute for Canadian Music at the University of Toronto. He retired in 1990.
Beckwith wrote over 160 compositions covering stage, orchestral, chamber, solo and choral genres. In addition, he wrote 17 books, the most recent of which was published 3 months before his death. In 1987, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada (CM).