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SPOGreatMusic Performance Series – S41E04

The SPOGreatMusic Performance Series: S41E04

Release Date: November 20, 2020

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

Maurice Ravel’s “Alborada del Gracioso”

Maurice Ravel’s “Alborada del Gracioso”, featuring Alexander Panizza, piano. Enjoy yet another exceptional piano performance from Mr. Panizza of this interestingly rhythmic and complex, yet appealing, selection. Alexander has performed around the world and has a most wonderful touch, artistry, and interpretation in each performance. His smoothness and ease on the keys is most impressive.

J. S. Bach’s “Gigue from Suite No. 2”

Featuring Ellamay Mantie. Ellamay 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.

Franz Schubert’s “Trio in B-flat Major” for violin, viola, and cello

Joyce Lai, violin; Brenna McLane, viola; Ronald Royer, cello. Enjoy this fantastic performance, recorded on September 27, 2019, at St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Anglican Church. Audio recorded by John S. Gray. Video provided by Vanessa Yu. Video edited by Devin Scott.

Best Idea Ever – Animated Short Film

Arpan Jolly, filmmaker; Bruno Degazio, composer. This fun animated short film explores the moment when Newton discovers gravity. Is it more than a pie in the sky fantasy? This film was created by a 4th Year animation student of Sheridan College Animation Program. For more information on the Sheridan College Animation program, visit

Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto’s “Caravan Rhapsody” Scrolling Score

Saman Shahi, Keyan Emami, and Maziar Heidari, composers; Maziar Heidari, conductor; Joyce Lai, violin; Ian Clarke, viola; Ronald Royer, cello; Tim FitzGerald, bass; Kaye Royer, clarinet; Kristen Day, bassoon; Jason Austin, horn. The Scarborough Philharmonic is thrilled to have a fantastic working relationship with the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT). The SPO commissioned “Caravan Rhapsody”. Funding support from the Canada Council for the Arts is greatly appreciated. The video is a Scrolling Score, so you can follow along with each part. Perhaps, your ensemble will want to play this interesting and challenging music. For more information on ICOT, including opportunities, visit

Evangelos Kokkoris’ “Fantasia”

“Fantasia” is a composition for solo contrabass and piano touched by an air of French and Italian music. It is dedicated to my good friends Maximos Farmakidis (contrabass) and Dimitra Marangozis (piano). Italy, specifically Venice, is the place where I studied composition and I realized the notion of the arts. The presence of music in Venice runs deep into my soul. Images of my birth place Greece and images of Venice, the place I studied both coexist in my musical imagination and in my composition “Fantasia”. In Greek, fantasia means imagination. – Evangelos Kokkoris, composer.

Performer and Composer Bios


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


ARPAN JOLLY: Check out more from talented animator, Arpan, on his website, his LinkedIn page, and his Instagram page


BRUNO DEGAZIO: Bruno has been part of the SPO family for a long time, having served as Composer-in-Residence for our 2018/2019 Season and is a Professor with the Sheridan College Animation Program. Bruno is a film sound designer, composer, researcher and educator based in Toronto, Canada. His film work includes the special effects sound design for the Oscar nominated documentary film, The Fires of Kuwait. His work also includes music for the all-digital, six-channel sound tracks of the IMAX films Titanica, Flight of the Aquanaut and CyberWorld 3D as well as many other IMAX films, theatrical feature films, and television dramas.

As a researcher in the field of automated music composition using fractals and genetic algorithms, he has presented papers and musical works at leading international conferences, including festivals in Toronto, Montreal, New York City, London, The Hague, Berlin, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Bruno is the designer of MIDIForth and The Transformation Engine, software systems with application to automated composition and data sonification. He is currently investigating the potential of the algorithmic combination of OpenGL graphics with automated music composition.

IRANIAN-CANADIAN COMPOSERS OF TORONTO (ICOT): ICOT is a non-profit art organisation founded by five Toronto-based composers and musicians in 2011 with the mission of creating new works that bridge Canadian and Iranian culture through music and art. ICOT has produced over 60 new works since its inception, and has curated or has been involved as featured artists over 35 concerts.

ICOT’s current members are: Maziar Heidari (Music Director), Keyan Emami (Artistic Director), and Saman Shahi (Executive Director).  The two former members and co-founders were Afarin Mansouri and Pouya Hamidi.

ICOT has produced 2 operas (Operatic Narrations of Arash the Archer, The Journey:Notes of Hope), 2 ballets (5 Tableux from Khosrow and Shirin, Trio in Chaargah), 12 orchestral works (Secret of Solstice, Recall The Eden), dozens of chamber works and vocal works, as well as three call for scores that allowed ICOT to collaborate with over 20 composers from 8 different countries.

ICOT has received commissions from the National Ballet of Canada, Tirgan Festival, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, 13 Strings, and has been featured in Ottawa Chamberfest, Hamilton Philharmonic’s What next Music Festival, Nuit Blanche Festival, Canadian Music Centre’s 2017 Season as well as LADOM Ensemble’s 2017 Debut Atlantic’s Eastern Canada tour.  In addition to the aforementioned groups ICOT’s music has been performed by Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, Symphony on the Bay and Ton Beau String Quartet. 

ICOT’s subsidiary ensemble, ICOT orchestra has also been featured in the Arash the Archer production, Secret of Solstice as well as the Journey: Notes of Hope Production. 

ICOT’s first commercial recording “Persian Piano Night” was released in 2018 by Pardis Records, and is available worldwide both digital and physical form.

ICOT has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council for its various productions, projects and performances.

Saman Shahi, Keyan Emami, and Maziar Heidari, composers; Maziar Heidari, conductor; Joyce Lai, violin; Ian Clarke, viola; Ronald Royer, cello; Tim FitzGerald, bass; Kaye Royer, clarinet; Kristen Day, bassoon; Jason Austin, horn. The Scarborough Philharmonic is thrilled to have a fantastic working relationship with the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT). The SPO commissioned “Caravan Rhapsody”. Funding support from the Canada Council for the Arts is greatly appreciated. Discover more on their website


EVANGELOS L. KOKKORIS: Evangelos was born in Athens, Greece, in 1951. He studied the Flute, Composition and History of Art in Athens and in Venice. He has given several concerts of Chamber Music and a great number of his compositions concerning small and big ensembles have been performed in Greece and abroad.

He also has collaborated with Conservatories teaching Theory of Music, Morphology, History of Music, Composition and History of Art. In addition, he participated in Historical Congresses and is an honoured member of the centre of “the Ionian studies in Greece”. He is the writer of “The Music and its History” (Naka’s edition), “The silent of Venice” (photo album – Taksideftis’ edition) & history of Arts (Taksideftis’ edition). Furthermore, he has made three CDs and he has written a great number of articles about music published in various scientific magazines.

Finally, he is the general Artistic Director of the Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens and a member of the Hellenic Composer Union. Learn more on Evangelos’ website


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 Farmakidis 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


DIMITRA MARANGOZIS: Dimitra studied piano Performance and Ethnomusicology at the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto and York University. Her piano teachers included  Spiro Kizas, Valery Lloyd-Watts and Antonin Kubalek.  Dimitra has been working as a teacher, examiner, performer and clinician at Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.,  Dimitra participates in chamber music concerts in Toronto, Athens and the Greek isles. Recent artistic collaborations include performances at the Paros Jazz Academy, the Paros Municipality Music festival and the Composition and Interpretation Lab summer series in Naxos. Discover more about Dimitra on her Instagram page, her Suzuki Ontario profile page, and her Royal Conservatory of Music profile page


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