The SPOGreatMusic Performance Series: S41E14

Release Date: April 23, 2021

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


Brandon Walker’s “An Earth Day Tribute”

A wonderful composer, and contributor to our 2020/2021 digital season, Brandon has shared a special Earth Day tribute video — which also features a scrolling score, so you can find your instrument part and play along at home.


Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh’s “Dialectics”

The SPO is thrilled to present this new composition by our 2020/2021 Composer-in-Residence, Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh. Daniel is also our 2020/2021 season SPOGreatMusic Podcast host and an amazing human being. You can listen to Daniel explore many different aspects of classical music and the SPO on our SPOGreatMusic Podcast Series available on major platforms. Listen now through our homebase:

Program notes from Dr. Mehdizadeh: “Dialectics – from order to chaos, dialogue to discourse. Dialectics is the first piece composed as Composer-in-Residence with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. It was commissioned by the SPO for the Odin Quartet as part of the SPO/Odin Quartet “Drying Ink” project.”


Elizabeth Raum’s “Victims of Eagles”

“Victims of Eagles” is a string quartet commissioned by the Odin Quartet to commemorate the 250 birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in December 1770, but no one is sure of the exact date. He was baptised on December 17, 1770.

Video edited by Alex Toskov  |  Audio edited by Bruno Degazio  |  Recorded at Desert Fish Studios by Jeff Wolpert


Steven Webb’s “Four Hindu Folk Tales”

“Four Hindu Folk Songs” is based upon four intriguing Hindu legends. Each movement is an experimentation with quartal harmonic structures. ‘The Mountain on a Finger’ tells the story of a village of people who follow the God Krishna, instead of Indra. Indra causes a rainstorm to flood the villagers, but Krishna saves them by lifting a mountain on his finger, using it as an umbrella.

‘Two Frogs’ tells the story of two frogs who fall into a vessel of milk. One quickly gives up; the other keeps swimming, until its legs turn the milk into butter and it escapes. ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’ tells the story of a group of blind men who touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each feels one different part, then they compare notes and learn they’re in disagreement. ‘A Meeting with Death’ tells the story of a father who offers his son as sacrifice to the God of death (Yama). In Yama’s kingdom, the boy asks for three wishes: that his father be pleased with him, that he goes to heaven, and that Yama tell him the secret of life and death.

The SPO and Mr. Webb are honoured to have this piece performed by incredible pianist and video producer, Alexander Panizza. Alexander has provided many highly engaging performance videos as part of the 2020/2021 SPOGreatMusic Performance Series. Each is masterfully performed, and the visual images and professional quality only further stimulate the brain.


Beethoven’s “Rondo” from “Duet No. 1 in C major”

The “Three Duos for Clarinet and Bassoon” (Wo0 27) are early works by Ludwig van Beethoven, composed when he was a student growing up in Bonn. The “Rondo” from the Duet No. 1 is a charming and playful work.
In this recording, Ronald Royer plays the bassoon part on the cello. Kaye Royer is principal clarinetist of the SPO and Ronald is the Music Director. This video is presented as part of the SPO “Beethoven Celebration Festival” for the 2020-2021 Season. Video and sound edited by Devin Scott.
From the publisher, Henle:
Ludwig van Beethoven
Three Duos WoO 27 for Clarinet and Bassoon
Urtext Edition, paperbound
with parts for clarinet in B flat and C – Pages 67 (V+28+21+13)
HN 974 · ISMN 979-0-2018-0974-8
The three Duos for Clarinet and Bassoon WoO 27 stylistically belong to Beethoven’s earliest creative period. Due to their lively character, the skillful play with timbre, and the fact that they are not very technically demanding, they have always numbered among the wind chamber music showpieces and are also popular works for pupils and students.
The sole source for the musical text is a printed edition which was only published after Beethoven’s death – presumably a reprint of lost Parisian editions. The original manuscripts also no longer exist. Our edition follows the musical text in the Beethoven Complete Edition (Volume VI/1); the performance score for bassoon includes a part for clarinet in B flat, and, for duos I and II, additional versions for clarinet in C.


J. S. Bach’s “Suite No. 6” Gavotte I & II

We are honoured to present this performance of J. S. Bach’s “Suite No. 6” Gavotte I and II, performed by an extremely talented young cellist, Ellamay Mantie. Ellamay’s skill continues to evolve.


Brandon Walker’s “Majestic”

“Majestic” is a spirited original composition by Brandon Walker and winner of The Professional Composers Forum October 2020 monthly themed contest! Inspiration for style and orchestration was largely drawn from “The Star Wars Suite” by John Williams as well as Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”. In writing the two-minute piece, Brandon wanted to capture the dynamics and energy of these well-known pieces that at times, perfect examples of “majestic” music.

Discover more about this specific composition:

Learn more about composer Brandon Walker on his website,,, and visit his YouTube channel for more great videos

Digital performance and video created by Brandon Walker. The music and score were produced using StaffPad for iOS, using a mixture of CineSample, Spitfire, and Berlin libraries. Audio stems were exported for final mixing in ProTools. The music video was produced in Adobe Premiere Pro with a stock picture courtesy of Pixabay.

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra greatly appreciates the participation of amazing artists right here in our SPO community, like Brandon, who have stepped forward to support our efforts during an ongoing pandemic crisis. Music can inspire, it can motivate, and it can heal. In one way or another, each of us can continue to draw some kind of energy from the music created and performed so pationately in all of our 2020/2021 SPOGreatMusic Performance Series videos.

It is also wonderful to continue to bring you a reflection of the diverse community of artists who inhabit our great community of Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. Each bringing something unique and inspiring, touching all corners of this pale blue dot, to our musical table.


“Cursed” – Animated Short Film

Katelyn Pellow, filmmaker and animator; Samuel Bisson, 2021 music composer. A treasure hunting cat finds a huge cache of gold, but has to devise a “purr-fect” plan to outwit the guard skeletons. Is there a way out? 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

BRANDON WALKER: Brandon is an award-winning, creative, and versatile composer, multi-instrumentalist, recording producer, engineer, and supervising sound editor with over 40 years of experience in classical, jazz, and popular genres as well and film and television soundtracks. Brandon is an Associate Composer Member of the Canadian Music Centre, member of the Canadian League of Composers, Screen Composers Guild of Canada, American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, and a writer/publisher with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

Currently, Brandon is writing and recording for two of his own projects, entitled “Symphonic Sounds” and “Fats Squared: the Music of Fats Waller and Fats Domino.” Other projects in progress include the publication of chamber works and the production of original music demos with StaffPad music software.

Brandon is a 2020 Niagara Music Award winner for “Best Producer of the Year”, recognizing work with Niagara Music Jazz Artist Award winner, The Jimmy Stahl Big Band. His compositions have won multiple awards in 2019 & 2020, including contests with The Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, Reno Pops Orchestra, as well as The Professional Composers Forum. In July 2020, Brandon was a featured artist on the CAMÕES TV program, “Stella’s Studio”.

Other career highlights include eight Golden Reel Award Nominations as well as the winner of a Gemini and two Directors Guild of Canada Awards. As a writer and a publisher with ASCAP, his compositions have been heard on National Public Radio, KUSC, JazzFM, and many other radio stations across North America as well as on television.

Learn more about this talented Canadian composer by visiting his website, or his LinkTree site.



DR. DANIEL MEHDIZADEH D.M.A.: There is something vividly distinct about Mehdizadeh’s music. This Canadian composer is revered for his intricate, unpredictable and haunting works. The sound and gesture of his pieces bury themselves deep in complex imagination—participating you in an exploration of uncertain visceral implications. His unique musical language is perceived as complex yet engaging, bringing together a hybrid of musical expression including the Mehdizadeh Modes.

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (DMA, University of Toronto) is currently based in the Greater Toronto Area and is the Composer-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and East Chamber Music. He has been involved in both national and international festival series. He is regularly commissioned and holds numerous performances in Europe and North America. His works have had global exposure and have been broadcasted across Canada and the US including appearance as guest composer on CBC Radio. Mehdizadeh has worked closely with conductors Ronald Royer, Simon Rivard, Jeffrey Reynolds and pianist and conductor Jean Desmarais. Influential mentors include childhood teacher Abbas Khoshdel (Iranian traditional composer), Steven Gellman (Canadian composer) and Gary Kulesha (Canadian composer and conductor). Mehdizadeh has also served as Composer-in-Residence for the University of Toronto and University of Toronto Schools. He has given lectures and composition workshops at UTS as well as adjudication and mentorship for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their annual New Generation Composer Project.

Mehdizadeh has also partnered with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and together kickstarted a new podcast series, SPOGreatMusic, during the pandemic, helping develop new community partnerships including Scarborough Arts, FabCollab, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Music Centre, Canadian Sinfonietta, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.

Mehdizadeh’s works receive funding through commissions and private patrons (long-time donor and supporter Nicole Senécal), as well as institutions including the latest Ontario Arts Council studio recording grant. He has collaborated with Orchestre de la Francophonie, Winds of the SPO, the Princeton Singers and the Ewashko Singers amongst many others. Notable world-renowned performers include Belgian flautist Marc Grauwels and Dutch theremin player Thorwald Jørgensen with multiple commissions and performances in festivals around the world. Learn more about this amazing human being on his: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



ELIZABETH RAUM: Elizabeth has had a career in music that has spanned over 45 years beginning in Halifax where she played principal oboe with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra before coming to Regina when her husband was offered a position in the Music Department of the University of Regina in 1975. She joined the Regina Symphony Orchestra at that time and from 1986 until her retirement in 2010, played principal oboe as a member of the Chamber Players.

Raum has established herself as one of Canada’s most eminent composers with commissions coming from such important performing groups as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Calgary Philharmonic, the CBC, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Music Toronto, Concours de Musique du Canada, Scotia Festival, Eckhardt-Gramattee National Competition, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Maritime Concert Opera, as well as many other performing organizations and individuals. Her music is played all over the world in concerts and festivals throughout Canada, the US, Europe including Rome, England, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Russia, China and Japan.

She has also been the featured composer for the Gravissimo! Festival in Portugal, James Madison University New Music Festival in Virginia, the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario, the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, and International Tuba Conferences in Budapest, Minnesota, and Regina. She was awarded the Canadian Composer Award by the Canadian Band Association, has three times received the award for Best Musical Score by the Saskatchewan Film and Video Showcase Awards and won in the Best Classical Composition category for the Western Canadian Music Awards as well as being nominated in the same class two additional times. She has also been presented with the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan and the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada medal and in 2010 received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. In 2004 she was given an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters From Mt. St. Vincent University in Halifax Nova Scotia. She received a commission from the Maritime Concert Opera, supported by the Ontario Arts Council, to write a full length opera, Time of Trouble, which was premiered by Opera Nova Scotia in December, 2016 and received a full production by Opera Nova Scotia the following year. Her three other operas, The Final Bid, The Garden of Alice, and Eos: The Dream of Nicholas Flood Davin were all recorded by the CBC. Her opera, Garden of Alice was filmed in 2021 with Tracy Dahl singing the lead role of Alice by the Pacific Opera of Victoria.

An extremely prolific composer, her works include 4 operas, over 90 chamber pieces, 18 vocal works, choral works including an oratorio, several ballets, concerti and major orchestral works. She enjoys a reputation of being one of Canada’s most ”accessible“ composers, writing for varied mediums and in remarkably diverse styles.

Learn more about Elizabeth Raum by visiting her website.


STEVEN WEBB BMus, MMus: Originally from South Africa, Steven Webb (b.1989) is a Toronto based composer, with his work being filtered through the personal lens of his own battle with mental illness. His current compositional work is concerned with examining the human experience, with the disorientation, confusion, and dread that arises from living in a world dealing with a climate crisis, growing conflict and marginalization towards minority groups, and the increasing isolation of the individual in spite of our hyperconnectivity.

His compositions and arrangements have been performed by: The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Thin Edge Music Collective, The University of Guelph Symphonic Choir, The Hamilton Children’s Choir, Exultate Chamber Singers, Prairie Voices, among many others. As a film composer, Steven’s credits include: ‘Chopin’s Heart’ for The National Screen Institute, ‘Period Piece’, winner of the best Canadian Short Film at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, and ‘Scheduled Violence’ for MTS On Demand. As a producer and audio engineer, Steven has worked with bands including: The Lytics, Vikings, and Moses Mayes, and has done audio work for Harper Collins, Strata Studios and Astron 6 Video International. He currently works as a full time composer, audio engineer and collaborative pianist. Steven is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers (SOCAN), as well as the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, and is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre. Learn more about Steven on his Website.


RONALD ROYER & KAYE ROYER: A marriage and friendship formed in the bonds of passion for living and for classical music. SPO is fortunate to have had Kaye and Ron contributing to this season’s online content. It’s always fun to see Ron playing his cello so beautifully, and Kaye providing expressive and perfect melodies. Learn more about Ron and Kaye on their shared website.


ELLAMAY MANTIE: Ellamay is a young 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



SAMUEL BISSON : Originally from Ottawa, cellist Samuel Bisson is quickly distinguishing himself in Canada as a versatile soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Currently based in Toronto, he performs frequently in the GTA and has performed and toured across Canada, the US, Austria and China. He has performed with renowned Canadian piano trio, the Gryphon Trio and performs regularly as part of the Passport Duo. Samuel currently holds the position of principal cellist with the Sneak Peek Orchestra (Toronto) and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (Scarborough) and has appeared as principal and section cellist with the Toronto Concert Orchestra (Toronto), Ottawa Symphnoy Orchestra (Ottawa), Brantford Symphony Orchestra (Brantford), Ontario Philharmonic (Oshawa) and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne (Montreal).

Over the years, Samuel has had the pleasure of working with many renowned cellists including Janos Starker, Roman Borys, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Paul Katz, Anthony Elliott, Paul Marleyn and Julian Armour. He has also had the privilege of playing with great chamber musicians and masters such as Pinchas Zuckerman, Mark Fewer, Jean Desmarais, Angela Hewitt and the St-Lawrence String Quartet. Samuel has a special interest in new and unknown music and has an ease with a broad range of musical styles. He regularly performs premieres of new works and has been a guest of Toronto’s New Music Festival for two years. Beyond the boundaries of classical performance, Samuel is an active studio session musician and performer/arranger in a variety of music genres. He has been involved with projects that stylistically range from jazz and broadway to metal and electronica, and has worked and collaborated with artists such as Drake, Sarah Brightman and members of Barenaked Ladies and Our Lady Peace.

Samuel is also a composer and has had many works performed by ensembles across the country. He composed the score to the award-winning short film Nuit Blanche, as well as the soundtrack to the Mandarin language feature film Lovesick, released theatrically in China and Taiwan. Learn more about Samuel on his Website.


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