In Celebration of John Beckwith’s 95th birthday, CASP is releasing a music video performance of Beckwith’s Four Short Songs – settings of German poems by Wassily Kandinsky as translated to English by Elizabeth R. Napier. Released as part of CASP’s REACHING OUT THROUGH SONG video series, the film features mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó and pianist Steven Philcox performing, and is directed and filmed by Patrick Hagarty and Jennifer Nichols.

Composed in 2014, the songs in the 5 minute cycle are titled: 1. Song; 2. Table; 3. Why?; 4. Earth. The score can be previewed and purchased here on the CMC website.

Video screenshot featuring Krisztina Szabó
Video screenshot featuring Krisztina Szabó

Watch the video

Composer John Beckwith:

John Beckwith is an acclaimed composer, music educator and writer. He was associated with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music from 1952, serving as dean (1970–77) and as the inaugural director of its Institute for Canadian Music (1985–90). His more than 150 compositions — including operas, orchestral works, chamber and solo works, songs and works for chorus — have attracted commissions and performances by leading ensembles and solo artists. He has edited or co-edited ten books and authored three, including Unheard Of: Memoirs of a Canadian Composer (2012). He was a music columnist and reviewer for the Toronto Star and has contributed articles and reviews to music journals in Canada, Britain, and the US. He has received honorary degrees from five Canadian universities, the Canadian Music Council Composer of the Year award, the Toronto Arts Award for music, the diplôme d’honneur of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the Friends of Canadian Music award. He is an honorary member of the Canadian University Music Society and the Société québécoise de recherche en musique, and a Member of the Order of Canada.

Listen to our 2018 Podcast interview with John Beckwith on


Krisztina Szabo –
Steven Philcox – Bio

Film Team

Patrick Hagarty

Patrick Hagarty is a Toronto based filmmaker, and long-time film industry veteran. He studied fine art and film at the Ontario College of Art & Design. He’s parlayed skills gleaned from his substantial experience to become a versatile one-man-band shooter, editor, and drone pilot. 

Hagarty’s auteur comedy shorts have tickled audiences at film festivals around the globe. Hagarty creates artful and energetic videos for the Toronto arts, music and dance communities. 

He frequently collaborates with his partner, accomplished dancer and choreographer, Jennifer Nichols. 

See his work here:

Jennifer Nichols

Jennifer Nichols, choreographer, director and professional dancer, is also founder of the renowned ballet fitness program, the Extension Method™, owner of the Extension Room and Co-Artistic Director of the dance entertainment firm Hit & Run Dance Productions.

For stage, Jennifer holds extensive choreography, performance and direction credits with organizations such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Summer Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Esprit Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Canadian Art Song Project, Against the Grain Theatre, Bicycle Opera, Opera 5, FAWN Chamber Creative, and The Royal Conservatory of Music.

For television and film, Jennifer holds Head Choreographer and Dance/Script consultant credits for the Netflix series ‘Tiny Pretty Things’ and was also choreographer for ‘Reign’ (CW), ‘Titans’ (DC Universe), ‘Frankie Drake’ (CBC), ‘Salvation’ (CBS), ‘Mary Kills People’ (Global TV), ‘Falling Water’ (USA Network), ‘Transylvania’ (CW), ‘Reacher’ (Amazon) and the feature film ‘Barney’s Version’ (Serendipity Point Films).

Find out more about Jennifer’s work here: