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About Me

Photo credit: Bo Huang Photography, 2019 – bohuang.ca

Photo credit: Bo Huang Photography, 2019bohuang.ca

Massimo Guida is a Graduate of the Doctor of Musical Arts programme in Music Composition of the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto. He was born in Modena, Italy, in 1990 and he has also lived in Australia, Singapore and England prior to moving to Canada in 2008. He started playing guitar at the age of 15 and completed all his grades by the age of 17. He also played in the Essex-based rock band, Minus-1, with which he wrote many songs and performed in many concerts. The band was also fortunate enough to be played and interviewed on a local radio station.

He began studying music at GCE Advanced Level programme at Brentwood School. He joined the Brentwood School Big Band and began arranging Jazz standards to be performed at concerts, which sparked his interest in composition. In the same year, he was also accepted into the Brentwood Cathedral Choir. He has toured extensively in Europe with the choir, and was commissioned by the Musical Director to compose an Organ Toccata and a Missa Brevis, which were both premiered in Brentwood Cathedral. In 2008 he conducted the première of his first orchestral composition Uno Sguardo Al Cielo in Brentwood Cathedral. For his efforts was awarded the AH Brown Prize for outstanding contribution to school music.

At the University of Toronto, he began learning Classical guitar under Eli Kassner and was accepted into the Composition programme, where he was able study with Norbert Palej, Alexander Rapoport, Chan Ka Nin, Gary Kulesha, and Christos Hatzis. He was awarded four scholarships during the course of his undergraduate studies and was selected as a finalist in the SCGC Mentorship Bursary Programme. During his undergraduate studies his compositions have been read and performed by several ensembles, such as the UTSO, the GamUT Ensemble, the UT Brass Ensemble and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. He has performed in the pit band for the Hart House production of Chicago and with the University of Toronto Guitar Orchestra in Roy Thomson Hall. He had the fortune of attending lectures and master classes with several noted composers such as Golden Globe and Academy Award winner Mychael Danna, and Krzysztof Penderecki. In 2011 he scored several short animated films by students of the Sheridan College of Animation. Other notable highlights have included the premiere of an Opera he co-composed with the other composers in the Introduction to Operatic Composition course, Rob Ford: The Opera, on 22nd January, 2012, which achieved great media attention and excellent reviews. He also aided in the orchestration of an original musical by fellow U of T graduate Joseph Trefler, A Ladylike Murder, which was premièred at Isabel Bader Theatre, in March, 2012.

In 2012, he graduated with a Bmus (Hons), Majoring in Composition and minoring in Spanish, obtaining High Distinction, and was the recipient of the University of Toronto 2012 Music Alumni Graduating Award, which is awarded to a student upon graduation, based on academic excellence. He returned to the University of Toronto to pursue a Masters Degree in Composition the following year, for which he was awarded the Lothar-Klein Memorial Fellowship and Scholarship in 2012. In 2012, he was commissioned by University College, University of Toronto, to compose an original fanfare (The Fanfare of Illumination) for the first annual "University College Alumni of Influence Gala", which was premièred at the Eglington Grand Theatre, to great acclaim. In 2013, Massimo was the recipient of the SSHRC: Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program: Master's Scholarship, which funded his Master's research on the early Twentieth Century Italian composer Alfredo Casella. He also composed the music for a video for the University Toronto's "Boundless" Campaign: Boundless Impact, as well as the music for the U of T Faculty of Music's Newsroom, and was interviewed at the University of Cambridge. His Thesis Composition Confessions, a song cycle for female voice and orchestra, was based on The Confessions of St. Augustine, which won the Violet Archer Composition Prize in 2015. He returned to the University of Toronto in September 2014, to pursue Doctoral Studies in Composition, where he also worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant. His choral work Infant Joy (2013) was selected as the winning composition in the 2015 Mississauga Festival Choir Competition. His doctoral research on Giacomo Puccini's Turandot (1926), which was supervised by Steven Vande Moortele, also earned him multiple Ontario Graduate Scholarships.


Massimo is looking to pursue a career in composition, as well as an academic career in music research. In his spare time, he enjoys singing and songwriting, as well as teaching and arranging music, watching and playing several sports, in particular soccer. He is fluent in both Italian and English, and also speaks Spanish and French to a high level, as well as some Portuguese. His main areas of interest are Contemporary Music, Music Theory and Analysis, Film Music, 20th Century Music, Late Romantic Music, Italian Music, Opera, and Sacred Vocal Music, as well as Jazz, Pop, and Rock.