I’m a third-year student at the University of Toronto in the Bachelor of Music in Composition Program, currently studying composition under Dr. Roger Bergs. Through U of T, I have been the recipient of the Susan Cale Award (2017), the Robert and John Elliot McBroom Scholarship (2017, 2018), and the Lobodowsky Choral Scholarship (2018). In previous years, I sang tenor in the Bach Chamber Youth Choir under Linda Beaupré and in U of T’s MacMillan Singers under Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt. I've studied piano for 15 years, most recently under Dr. Asher Ian Armstrong. My other musical activities include leading the music at an evening worship service at Jubilee United Church in Toronto.
Below are a few of my favorite works and recordings. All videos here, and more, can be found on my YouTube channel.
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March 18, 2018: This clarinet-piano duet is based on an early piano composition of mine and inspired by the bal-musette French popular music style of the early 20th century. Combining a languid “chanson” and a quick valse, it seeks to evoke a belle-epoque pastorality with its melodic simplicity.
Performed by Katelyn Katic (clarinet) and Benjamin Gabbay (piano)
October 27, 2017: My setting of the Latin prayer Ave Maria, performed by the Toronto Voice Lab conducted by Victor Cheng at the October 2017 Student Composers Concert in Walter Hall, University of Toronto. Please see the video's YouTube page for full credits and program notes.
An earlier version of this piece received an honourable mention in the Toronto Amadeus Choir's International Seasonal Song-Writing Competition in December 2015.
August 28, 2017: Laudate Dominum, op. 16b (2017), is an excerpt from the climactic movement of my larger work "Three Prayers," op. 16. Click here to listen to the entire work and to read the program notes.
Performed by Maria Milenic (soprano) and Benjamin Gabbay (piano)
June 19, 2016: "Novelette" is a piano miniature inspired by the solo piano works of Francois Poulenc.
February 8, 2015: Three short etudes for piano. The first étude, written almost entirely on a single treble stave, features a simple repetitious melodic pattern with an accompaniment in the left hand that shares the same range as the melody. Though it is marked 'assez vite,' this simulation plays it at a leisurely 100 BPM, from where it could be sped up according to the skill of the pianist. The second étude features a slow 'gallop' of two-note chords played against the same rhythmic pattern in the bass offset by an eighth rest. The third étude, a scherzo, features rapid eighth-note runs in the right hand, paired with large leaps between two-note chords in the left hand and, in its middle section, a motif of rapid repeated thirds.
February 8, 2015: "Caprice-Rêverie." The piece is an unlikely juxtaposition between an angular fanfare-like caprice and a sweeping rêverie. The caprice opens with a melody seemingly in E major, but with an accompaniment in the subdominant key, creating a mischievous clash of harmonies. After persistent interruption, it falls apart to the rêverie before returning with more harmonic stability.
November 30, 2014: "Valse-Bagatelle." Another valse, this time of a shorter, simpler variety, hence the name "bagatelle" ("trifle").
June 21, 2014: "Valse in F major." You may notice that, although the title clearly indicates the key of this piece as F major, the piece hardly spends any time in F major. This is not due to an oversight, but simply because I enjoy the whimsicality of frequent modulation.
January 16, 2014: "Valse in E minor." A newly composed valse (waltz) based on the melody of my very first composition, "Allegro con anima" from 2009.
April 23, 2013: "Prelude in A flat." I believe this to be my personal musical description of happiness. :)
May 16, 2012: "Scherzo in A Major," a piece with definitely the catchiest melody I happened to come up with so far. In March 2013, this piece won a gold score in its category in the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival.
February 9, 2012: A piano arrangement of Hans Zimmer's "Discombobulate," the theme from Guy Ritchie's new Sherlock Holmes movies. This was a lot of fun to make.
November 4, 2014: From our November 2014 "More Than Mozart" concert: Percy Grainger's rousing "Country Gardens," based on an English folk melody
November 4, 2014: From our November 2014 "More Than Mozart" concert: Claude Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse, "The Joyful Island"
June 28, 2013: The first piece of Sergei Prokofiev's magnificent "Episodes" suite., opus 12. I couldn't bear the dissonance of this piece the first time I heard it; by the 7th listening, I had grown quite fond of it.
November 13, 2011: My cover of a piece by the amazing neo-classical composer Isaac Shepard. An earlier "recording" of this in 2008, when I was 12, was one of my first YouTube uploads.
January 12, 2011: The Adagio from Beethoven's magnifique "Pathétique" sonata. Unfortunately the over-sensitive mic on my camera made the melody line sound a little too forceful (at least that's my excuse).
June 10, 2010: My third and final recording of Schubert's Serenade (my earliest version was the first piece I uploaded to YouTube). Having learned this piece from three different scores, I ended up somewhat making my own arragement.
September 30, 2009: A short etude by Burgmüller titled "The Gypsies." Yes, I did take the liberty of adding that sforzando chord at the very end. The piece was just begging for it.