The SPOGreatMusic Performance Series: S41E13

Release Date: April 9, 2021

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


Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major” Op. 109

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is thrilled to have this performance by Emily Rho, an extremely talented pianist in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We also appreciate Emily’s efforts to record this performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The SPO appreciates the efforts and new digital skills our musicians are learning to ensure we have quality content to present to our community of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada — and to the world.

Emily Rho’s interpretation is wonderful, with very accurate rhythmic interpretations and exquisite phrasing.

To learn more about pianist Emily Rho:


Laia Bent’s “Amino” – New Generation Composers Workshop Participant

“Amino” is presented as part of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual New Generation Composers Workshop project. The NGCW creates opportunities for young, Canadian composers to create new music for small ensembles and to be mentored by professional Canadian composers from the SPO community, including SPO Music Director and Conductor, Mr. Ronald Royer.

The NGCW is presented in association with the University of Toronto Schools, with additional funding support from the SOCAN Foundation and Toronto Arts Council.

The SPO is very proud to have met our commitment to these talented young composers and completed this project during the pandemic. We also appreciate the dedication and commitment from our SPO musicians and the Odin Quartet in adapting to conditions and conquering tech issues associated with remote recording, and to sound editors who assembled and mixed the audio.

Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Sound editing and mixing by Bruno Degazio. Video assembled and edited by Cassandra Yao. Best viewed at 1080p.


Michael Cheng’s “Minokichi et la Femme de Neige” – New Generation Composers Workshop Participant

“The idea for this piece came while watching a video essay called “Why Miyazaki’s Films Sound Pretty” analyzing the work of composer Joe Hisaishi, who scored many films for legendary animator and director Hayao Miyazaki.” – Michael Cheng


Lucas Fournier’s “Patience” – New Generation Composers Workshop Participant

“Often when I write music, it’s a quick, instinctual process, but Patience was written over the course of several months. Interestingly, I originally developed some of the melodies and harmonies before the pandemic began last March, but only gave structure to the piece in the fall of 2020. Although only about 7 months passed from when I began and finished Patience, it was started and finalized in two completely different worlds. As I brought the piece together with this in mind, I wanted it to tell a fragmented story with twists and turns, though not a melancholic and hopeless one. The result is an unpredictable piece that subverts expectations in structure but maintains a cohesion through a sense of hope and belonging.” – Lucas Fournier


“風不太冷 In Passing” – Animated Short Film

Esther Cheung, filmmaker and animator; Sergei Kofman, music composer
As a storm threathens Hong Kong in 1976, a young girl dreams of airplanes. In a different apartment on the same floor, a young boy comes across a dragonfly which ends up having an impact on both the boy and the girl.
Created by a graduate of the Sheridan College Animation program and featuring newly composed music. For more information on the Sheridan College Animation program, visit


Performer and Composer Bios

EMILY RHO: Pianist Emily Rho is an open-minded and sought-after musician based in Toronto, Canada. Forging a multi-faceted career of her own, she works as a pianist, artistic director, and educator. Alongside her performing career, Ms. Rho is the Co-director of Toronto’s Pocket Concerts, which presents high-quality chamber music concerts in intimate venues such as homes and workplaces all over Toronto. During the summer season, she is the General and Artistic Director of Caledon Music Festival in Caledon, Ontario featuring a weekend-long festival that combines great music, community, and nature.

Most recently, Emily performed chamber music concerts at Toronto Summer Music Festival, Chamber Music @New Park (Ithaca, NY), The Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Lunenburg, NS), and the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (Brandon, MB), CBC Glenn Gould Studio, among others. Through speaking engagements, Ms. Rho shares her experience as an arts entrepreneur. She has been invited as a guest speaker at various workshops through McGill University, National Academy Orchestra, Artscape and University of Toronto, where she shares stories on how Pocket Concerts was built and operates.

A native of Seoul, South Korea, Emily is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, The Glenn Gould School, and University of Toronto. She is a faculty member at The Royal Conservatory of Music, serves as an adjudicator for the Glenn Gould School’s Piano Department, and teaches privately.

A natural extrovert, Emily also enjoys time outside of practicing by spending time with friends, training at a Muay Thai gym, and singing alto in Acquired Taste Choir, a group that was founded through Pocket Concerts for professional instrumentalists who are interested in singing.

Learn more about Emily on her Website, or on Twitter. You can also learn more about Pocket Concerts here.


LAIA BENT (2020/2021 New Generation Composers Workshop participant): You can learn more about Laia on her LinkedIn profile.

Laia is a grade 12 student at the University of Toronto Schools. She is interested in global health, music, and international affairs. She is also a leader amongst her peers and has presented on the world stage. Laia’s passions come together in “Amino”. Just Google Laia Bent to learn more. Check out her work with the Girls in Tech Conference 2021 via this link:

Laia was selected to participate in our New Generation Composers Workshop, where emerging composers can be mentored by professional composers and arrangers who are part of the SPO family and community.


MICHAEL CHENG (2020/2021 New Generation Composers Workshop participant): Michael Cheng is a grade 12 student at University of Toronto Schools (UTS). As a performer, he started off playing the piano at the age of 9, and now mostly plays the tenor and alto saxophone while learning to double on flute. Michael plays these instruments as part of the Concert Band and Stage Band at UTS.

As a composer, Michael is interested in writing for a variety of genres and ensembles from Big Band jazz to orchestral works, and has a passion for learning about and synthesizing elements from different styles around the world. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career in healthcare while continuing to explore his interest in performing and composing music. Learn more about Michael on his website.


LUCAS FOURNIER (2020/2021 New Generation Composers Workshop participant): Lucas Fournier is an aspiring musician currently living in Montreal, Quebec. He went to high school at University of Toronto Schools, through which he participated in this program with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, he is studying music at McGill University while working on his first album, Many Waters, hopefully to be released in mid-to-late 2021.

Lucas is passionate about songwriting and composition, blending elements of classical and popular music in his indie-folk songs, and composing and arranging music for string quartet and chamber ensembles. His music is inspired by artists like Bon Iver, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, and S. Carey.

Follow @lucas__fournier on Instagram for updates about current and future projects and releases!


ESTHER CHEUNG (2020/2021 New Generation Composers Workshop participant): Learn more about Esther on her website.


SERGEI KOFMAN: (b. 1996) Sergei is an imaginative young composer based in Toronto. Having recently completed his masters degree in Composition at the University of Toronto, he is active as a composer, producer, audio engineer, pianist, and educator. Sergei writes music for various media as well as the concert hall. He draws on an eclectic combination of influences in his work. His music has been performed by ensembles around Canada and the United States. Learn more about Sergei by visiting his Website.


Click here to return to our 2020/2021 SPOGreatMusic Performance Series listings.

Click here to go to our 2020/2021 SPOGreatMusic Podcast Series listings.