VICO Summer Academy

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) invites established and emerging musicians and composers to apply for the inaugural VICO Summer Academy, to be held June 24-July1, 2017 at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada. Space is limited, and registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. We have a special program for young composers and musicians aged 15-25.  We also welcome instrumentalists and composers of every music background and every level of development to this unique program! 

**Update as of April 21st: the application deadline has been EXTENDED to June 15, 2017. Also, see the Activities section below for new information directed at Vancouver-area musicians who may wish to participate on a more flexible basis.**


ACTIVITIES (download daily timetable in PDF form here)


1. Ensemble and Master classes for instrumentalists 

Musicians performing any type of musical instrument – orchestral (e.g. clarinet, violin, cello) or traditional (e.g. erhu, oud, accordion) – are invited to partake in hands-on workshops and master classes delving into topics such as:

  • intercultural performance techniques
  • different improvisational styles
  • the music of China, Iran, Lebanon
  • contemporary western Classical music.

Participants will also have the opportunity to perform in a 20-piece intercultural orchestra under the mentorship of professional VICO musicians. See daily timetable in PDF form here.


NOTE: Vancouver-area musicians who wish to participate on a limited basis (and pay a reduced tuition fee) have the following additional options (please contact us at if you are interested in any of these):

  • Attend orchestra rehearsals (3:00-5:00 pm Monday-Friday) and perform in the final July 1 concert ($200).
  • Attend Improvisation sessions (5:00-6:00 pm Monday-Friday) and perform in one of two scheduled concerts ($100).
  • Attend both orchestra rehearsals & Improvisation sessions and perform in two concert programs ($250).
  • Attend specific portions of the program only, e.g. a solo masterclass or tutti ensemble rehearsal (please contact us at to make a special arrangement).


2. Master Classes for Composers

Composers of every stage and age are invited to compose under the direction of established intercultural composers, then workshop their new compositions with professional VICO musicians, and attend the premiere performance. Composers will also receive A/V documentation of their new work.


Each composer may compose/workshop or submit a 6-8 minute-long composition, using instruments from ONE of the following two groups (Quintet A or B) plus additional instruments if desired (up to 10 players total):

  • Quintet A: viola, clarinet, accordion, oud, and santur
  • Quintet B: violin, cello, zheng, erhu, and vibraphone/hand percussion

See daily timetable in PDF form here.


3. Concerts

The Academy will present a Masters’ recital and chamber concert during the week (See daily timetable in PDF form here). The program will culminate in a second chamber  concert and a Canada Day Gala Concert on July 1, 2017 at BlueShore Financial Centre for Performing Arts.



4. Lectures and Documentation

Lecture/demonstrations will be presented on the musics of different cultures, improvisational techniques, scoring intercultural composition, different modalities, and orchestrating the whole world. All workshops and performances will be documented (both audio & visual) for later reference.

 All activities will take place in the Music Department at Capilano University (map).



Mark Armanini (artistic director)
Farshid Samandari (composer-in-residence)
Moshe Denburg (founding artistic director)
Borealis String Quartet (string program)
Charbel Rouhana (oud, Arabic maqam)
Erica Roozendaal (accordion)
Lan Tung (improvisation)
Milan Milosevic (clarinet, tarogato)
Mark McGregor (flutes)
Jonathan Bernard (percussion)
Geling Jiang (zheng, sanxian and ruan)
And more!


HOW TO APPLY (Application deadline: April 23, 2017)


Application Process

Musicians of different ages, levels and nationalities who wish to partake in these workshops should submit: Composers of different ages, levels and nationalities who wish to partake in these workshops should submit:
  • Written statement (maximum 1 page) on the your goals, interests and categories you would like to explore (i.e. learning extended techniques, or Persian music or Chinese music or Arabic music)
  • Written statement (maximum 1 page) describing your proposed composition or a finished one that you plan to submit for workshopping, for your preferred quintet (A or B – see above) plus other instruments (up to 10 players total).
  • Video demo of yourself in performance (video file or link to online content)
  • 2 sample scores of previous compositions & demo recordings (if available; audio files or links to online content). Please do not submit midi files. Scores must be submitted in digital form..
  • Biography (maximum 300 words)
  • Biography (maximum 300 words)
  • Letter of support from a teacher, institution of learning or colleague
  • Letter of support from a teacher, institution of learning or colleague
Applicants are asked to compile all documents into ONE PDF, give it a file name that includes their given name, and e-mail it (with additional audio/video attachments as necessary) to



Tuition Fee: $500 CDN (incl. $100 non-refundable registration fee)
Small Scholarships are available, and are offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
    1. Submit an application with supporting materials via e-mail, as outlined under “How To Apply” above.
    2. Once accepted into the Academy, a minimum payment of $250 CAD is required via Paypal ( if you have a Paypal account, or with a credit card via the Paypal button below), cheque, money order or wire transfer before May 5, 2017.
    3. Payment must be made in full (in a maximum of 2 installments) by June 1, 2017.
    4. $100 CAD will be retained as a non-refundable registration fee.
    5. In case of cancellation before May 15, 2017, all funds minus the non-refundable portion ($100 CAD) will be returned. After May 15, $250 CAD will be non-refundable. After June 1, the entire payment is non-refundable.

Payment Options



VICO has reserved a number of rooms at a preferred rate at the Holiday Inn & Suites North Vancouver, within walking distance from the Academy (see map). For accommodation for the duration of the Academy (June 25 – July 1 inclusive), the prices are:

  • Triple occupancy standard    $ 450 CAD per person
  • Triple occupancy deluxe  (with kitchenette) $ 500 CAD per person
  • Double occupancy standard  $ 600 CAD per person
  • Double occupancy deluxe  (with kitchenette) $ 700 CAD per person

The rooms have free wifi, free local phone, and breakfast, as well as free parking.

The Academy will provide morning and afternoon coffee at Capilano University, as well as five lunches and one dinner.




With grateful thanks to our funders and partners, whose generous contributions have made the VICO Summer Academy possible: