The SPOGreatMusic Performance Series: S41E01

Release Date: October 9, 2020

On this first episode of our SPOGreatMusic Performance Series (Season 41, 2020/2021), we’re pleased to present the following videos:

Chris Wind’s “Lament for Contrabass”

Arranged for and performed on bass by Maximos Farmakidis. Originally written for the viola, this arrangement, performance, and video effectively represents how many of us are and have been feeling during the Covid-19 pandemic. Maximos plays in the bass section of the SPO and has been eager to help during this difficult time in our shared history.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s 6th movement (Andante con moto alla marcia, Presto) from the “Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20”

Featuring violinist Joyce Lai, violist Ian Clarke, cellist Ronald Royer, bassist Tim Fitzgerald, clarinetist Kaye Royer, bassoonist Kristin Day, and hornist Jason Austin. This movement starts with a slow and thoughtful introduction leading into the main Presto music showcasing the violin. Joyce Lai was the SPO artist-in-residence for our 2019/2020 season, and we are pleased to share this recording. This recording is from the SPO February 8, 2020 chamber music concert at St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Anglican Church and was a collaboration with the Canadian Sinfonietta. Audio recorded by John S. Gray. Video by Devin Scott.

“Ramon The Magnificent” – Animated Short Film

Vladimir Volkov, filmmaker; Ronald Royer, composer. This short animated film is a humourous, but contemporary twist on a popular story line of the past with a male hero saving a damsel in distress. Created by a graduate of the Sheridan College Animation program, this film is full of humour and top-notch animation. The music uses Spanish/Mexican stylistic elements as well as some typical “mickey mousing” film scoring techniques to highlight the physical actions when Ramon gets himself in trouble. For more information on the Sheridan College Animation program, visit

Maurice Ravel’s “Jeux d’Eau” (Playing Water)

Featuring Alexander Panizza, piano. Besides showcasing his truly exceptional piano performance, Alexander created this video to illustrate this impressionistic music about “playing water”. You can find many more amazing video performances from Alexander on his YouTube channel —

J. S. Bach’s “Prelude from the Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major”

Featuring Ellamay Mantie. The 6th suite was written for a five-string instrument, which is not commonly used today. This suite is normally included with the five that were composed for cello, but is quite difficult to play. The prelude is an excellent vehicle for Ellamay, who displays an advanced technique and an expressive musically. The SPO has a mandate to support young artists and we are proud to showcase this local high school student who is planning to study music further in university.

Emily Shapiro’s “Utter Zoo” – Trailer

Check out the trailer for “Utter Zoo” from Emily Shapiro and Elizabeth Brown, two talented woodwind players and creatives. Full video coming to our SPOGreatMusic channel soon. Enjoy!

Performer and Composer Bios


MAXIMOS FARMAKIDIS: Maximos graduated from Athens Conservatory of Music with honours. In Toronto he studied with Thomas Monahan, instructor of contrabass at University of Toronto Faculty of Music and principal contrabass player of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  Maximos Farmakidis holds a diploma in music education from the Faculty of Education and he taught high school music for the Board of Education in Toronto.  As a free-lance musician, he was involved in a variety of music genres including symphonic music, chamber music and performances as a contrabass soloist. In addition to music, Maximos studied electronic technology at George Brown College and at Ryerson University and worked as an electronics technologist in a prominent Toronto firm. Connect with Maximos on his Facebook page


CHRIS WIND: To learn more about Chris, please visit his website


VLADAMIR VOLKOV: To learn more about Vladamir, please visit his Instagram


ALEXANDER PANIZZA: Acclaimed by the specialized press and public alike, Canadian-Argentinian Alexander Panizza developed his musical education in Toronto, Buenos Aires, Geneva, Paris, Barcelona, and London, where he completed a post-graduate diploma at the Royal College of Music. His mastery of pianistic sonorities and powerful sound allow him to shine in the grand piano concerti repertoire, including those by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Beethoven and Schumann. His discography features Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas, Alberto Ginastera’s complete piano compositions, and works by Carlos Guastavino, Muzzio Clementi and David Winkler (Naxos, American Composers Series). Alexander Panizza has performed in over twenty-five countries worldwide including prestigious venues such as the Barbican Hall in London, Herkulessaal in Munich, Colón Theatre in Buenos Aires, Richelieu Amphitheatre in Paris, Palas Theatre in Athens, Nanning’s Guangxi Concert Hall in China, National Theatre in Panama City, Solis Theatre in Montevideo, and Prince Mahidol Hall in Bangkok. With a special interest in collaborative piano, Alexander participates in chamber music series including the Soesterberg Music Festival (Holland), Long Island Mozart Festival (USA) and Seven Lakes Festival, in Patagonia (Argentina), where he mentors young musicians. An active pedagogue, he is a faculty member at the Catholic University in Buenos Aires and has led masterclasses at the University of Toronto, Lynn University, Lakehead University , and other higher education institutions in the Americas, Europe and Asia. During the 2020 season, due to the unique circumstances regarding public concertizing, Alexander has been actively developing his musical activities in the digital space. Aside from online teaching internationally, he has been experimenting with recordings that combine music with other expressive mediums (visual arts, literature, and video) sharing the results through his website and various social media platforms. Learn more on his website, and on his YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, and SoundCloud pages.


ELLAMAY MANTIE: Ellamay is a seventeen-year-old cellist from Scarborough, ON. She began playing the cello when she was five, and currently studies with Joowon Kim. She has played for many wonderful cellists in masterclasses, such as Joseph Johnson, David Hetherington, Alan Harris and Emmanuel Beaulieu Bergeron. Ellamay has played in youth orchestras for the past five years, the most recent being with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra for their past 2 seasons. This spring, she was selected as an alternate for the 2020 season of NYO Canada, and received the Kiwanis Club of Casa Lima Voltr Ivonoffski Memorial Award. Ellamay has also been involved with many chamber ensembles in addition to chamber playing. She plans on pursuing cello performance in university next year. Learn more about Ellamay on her website, or on her Facebook page


EMILY SHAPIRO: Emily is a bass clarinetist and clarinetist dedicated to exploring and creating new music. Originally from Canada, Emily pursued her studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Academy of Music, Concordia University and the Domaine Forget academy. Emily has a special love for the sound and scope of bass instruments and constantly pushes the limits of what she can do on bass clarinet. Alongside performing contemporary music on bass clarinet, Emily is involved in many other musical endeavours. Composing and improvising are central to her career, and she has been an active performer of Balinese gamelan for 10 years and has also explored jazz, klezmer, rock and electroacoustics. She is always seeking out new artistic experiences to enrich and motivate her work. She is a proud member of Duo Arasari, the London Improviser’s Orchestra, the Corner Quartet and Lila Cita and has performed all over London, including iklectik, Café Oto, Hundred Years Gallery, LSO St Luke’s, the Vaults festival, the Barbican and many more. She founded and manages the Mellifera arts platform, a monthly interdisciplinary arts performance event. Outside of music, Emily loves gardening, running, whisky and making friends with animals. Discover more about Emily on her Facebook page, or on her SoundCloud page Photo by Pierre Bouvier Patron.


ELIZABETH BROWN: Elizabeth is an oboist, flautist and organizer. She studied under Marea Chernoff and Beth Orson and holds a Bachelor of Music from UBC and an Artist Diploma from the Vancouver Academy of Music. She was awarded the 2004 and 2005 Mildred Johnson Scholarship in Music, the 2007 and 2008 Vancouver Academy of Music College Scholarship, and the 2007 W. R. Bingham Family Scholarship. Elizabeth enjoys seeking out and performing odd, entertaining, and silly music as well as playing standard repertoire. She has performed with Lions Gate Sinfonia, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Canada West Orchestra, Opera Appassionata, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Southern Ontario Lyric Opera and of course the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra! While she adores symphonic repertoire, she also seeks out chamber music and co-founded the comic chamber opera group, OperaFeHk in Vancouver BC with several friends. Elizabeth currently organizes and plays with Untitled Ensemble; a chamber music collective dedicated to playing underplayed and forgotten works with an emphasis on works by women composers. When not rehearsing in the garden or researching new scores to explore, Elizabeth can be found chasing cormorants on Lake Ontario in her very petite sailboat, or pampering her two luxurious cats, Bacon and Hotdog. Learn more about Elizabeth on her websites, and Photo by Elizabeth Brown.


MEGALODIPTICUS (aka MEGHAN): The Megalodipticus is an amphibious bipedal herbivore that dwells primarily in temperate wetlands. They can be observed emerging from hibernation in lowland swamps in early June to mid July at which time they commence their annual migration in search of coffee.  They have adapted well to urban areas where they are often found grazing in backyards, and occasionally in kitchens where they are lured by the scent of freshly brewed coffee.  Some efforts have been made to domesticate the Megalodipticus however they are generally considered an intractable and noisy pest, so this is not really recommended.  Historically, captive Megalodiptici, have occasionally been incorporated into the entertainment at travelling fairs and carnivals, as they are seen as something of a novelty outside their natural range. Discover more about Megalodipticus on her website Photo by Elizabeth Brown.


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