“When he reached the age of 90, the actor-comedian George Burns celebrated by doing a show in Las Vegas, at which time an interviewer asked how optimistic he felt about his future.

“I feel very optimistic,” Burns reportedly answered, “because very few people die after the age of 90.”

That was a joke, of course. But a week Sunday, Toronto composer John Beckwith will reach the age of 94 and that surely is no joke.

To celebrate he will likely be listening along with many of his admirers to the John Beckwith Songbook, a two-hour, free virtual concert honouring his 70-year career in music, the first of three such concerts available on YouTube at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and thereafter for two weeks on the Confluence channel at confluenceconcerts.ca…”