Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra & Sound of Dragon Society present

Strings Attached

Sunday Feb. 11, 2018 @ 3:30 pm

The Orpheum Annex, Vancouver
823 Seymour St. (2nd Level)

Tickets $30 / $19.99 / $15 on sale now


The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra is pleased to join Sound of Dragon Society in co-presenting this unique chamber concert, featuring cellist Bo Peng and his octet Cellissimo, Lan Tung (erhu), and the talented young string players of the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra, conducted by Jonathan Der.

The repertoire will include:

  • Goldfish by Mark Armanini, a piece for erhu and strings that evokes a classical Chinese painting of a goldfish swimming in a pond – graceful, serene, a beautiful fusion of traditional and contemporary sounds
  • Ziggurat no. 2 by Farshid Samandari, for 8 celli – an eccentric soundscape that grows in terraced levels like the ancient stone structure after which it is named
  • Flower Bloom & Fall by Bruce Bai, a piece developed through the VICO’s Sounds Global Composers’ workshop in 2015 that was originally a song, now developed into a polyphonic work, examining themes of life and death
  • Bachianas Brasileiras no. 1 by Hector Villa-Lobos, the first in this famous Brazilian composer’s series of works for cello octet, in which he drew parallels between traditional Brazilian melodies and those of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Two pieces by Lan Tung: Double Happiness, a duet for erhu and cello in which the two instruments echo each other in an intricate dialogue that develops into improvisation; and From the Stars, a piece for erhu, voice and cello octet that explores the percussive sounds of the cello


VICO and Sound of Dragon Society share a drive to celebrate diversity and showcase the boundless creative potential that comes out of interactions between musicians and composers of varying ethnic and musical backgrounds. We are excited to collaborate with Bo Peng, conductor Jonathan Der, and the talented young musicians of Cellissimo and Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra on a concert that highlights this evolving new musical landscape.

Media contact: Melanie Thompson –




CELLISSIMO was formed by cellist Bo Peng at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy in summer 2012. Since then, Cellissimo has become one of the major programmes of this 20-year old major European summer music festival. Each year for 3 weeks, in this charming historical Italian town, Bo leads a group of young cellists from all over the world as they rehearse and perform at cafes, cathedrals and concert halls. The ensemble varies in size from 8-18 cellists, ranging from award-winning students to talented young players and seasoned performers. Those of its members who are based in Vancouver (Bo Peng, Will Lin, Sabrina Juan, Lyla Lee, Kailey Kou, Cindy Yu, James Yang, and Judy Lou) have formed an octet that represents the excellence of cello education in Vancouver.


Since 1971, the RICHMOND DELTA YOUTH ORCHESTRA (RDYO) has provided a professional orchestral preparation program for young musicians. The Orchestra provides a type of musical instruction that is not commonly available for children and youth: instruction and performance opportunities in an ensemble setting. For many youth, the RDYO is a social as well as an educational opportunity, as our young musicians are able to meet other young people who share their passion for music. The Orchestra currently serves approximately 150 young musicians aged 6 to 25 in a levelled program of eight divisions: Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Strings; Junior and Senior Winds; Symphony Orchestra; Chamber program; and Jazz Ensemble.

Conductor: Jonathan Der
Violin I: Isabel Ryznar, Jocelyn Chui, Tristan Fajardo
Violin II: Natalie Der, Jenna Xu, Rachel Tseng, Gavin Li
Viola: Kathryn Wei, Sam Jia
Cello: Aireleen Zhang, Betty Tang
Bass: Sara Rubia


BO PENG (cello) holds a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music, and a Performer’s Diploma from the Indiana University where he studied with distinguished cellist Janos Starker. Bo was a two-time winner of the Music Teacher National Association Competitions (Strings Division); he also won the 3rd prize in the International Chamber Music Competition of the Czech Radio’s “Spring of Prague”. Bo has toured Japan, Taiwan, China, Canada, Europe, and the US as a soloist and with various ensembles, including the Vancouver Piano Trio, Borealis String Quartet, and as a trio with Robert Rozek and Eric Wilson. He has performed Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with Vancouver Philharmonic and Richmond Orchestra & Chorus, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with pianist Eugen Skovorodnikov and violinist Victor Kuleshov. In 2012, Bo Peng was appointed the principal cellist of the Taiwan Connection Music Festival, under the directorship of violinist Nai Yuan Hu.  Currently, Bo teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnical University, VSO School of Music, Richmond Music School, Delta Community School of Music, and Guildford School of Music. Since summer 2012, Bo has joined the faculty of Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy.


LAN TUNG (erhu) is the artistic director of Orchid Ensemble, Sound of Dragon Society, and Proliferasian. Lan has appeared as a soloist with Orchestre Metropolitain (Montreal) and Symphony Nova Scotia, and as a soloist/composer with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble, Upstream Ensemble (Halifax), Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (Vancouver & Toronto), Atlas Ensemble (Amsterdam & Helsinki), and Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (Taipei). Lan Tung’s music often experiments with contradictions by taking culturally specific materials outside their context. Her works embody the rhythmic intricacy from Indian influence, the sense of breath/space from Chinese tradition, and many years of experiences in interpreting contemporary Canadian compositions. Incorporating improvisation and graphic notations, Lan’s compositions and performances are released on numerous CDs, winning an International Independent Music Awards and multiple nominations by JUNO, Canadian Independent Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Western Canadian Music Awards.


The VANCOUVER INTER-CULTURAL ORCHESTRA (VICO), founded in 2001, was one of the first concert orchestras devoted specifically to performing new intercultural music on a grand scale. It is currently one of only a handful of such professional ensembles that exist in the world. The VICO brings together musicians and composers from many cultural and artistic communities in the Greater Vancouver area, including Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Indian, Persian (Iranian), Latin and South American, Vietnamese, African, North American and European to create what has been described as “the United Nations of Music” (CBC Radio), and “music that sounds like Vancouver looks” (The Georgia Straight). The Vancouver Sun has called VICO “a world music super-group.”


SOUND OF DRAGON SOCIETY preserves ancient traditions of Chinese music and celebrates diversity and creativity in the contemporary applications of this music, resulting from the interaction between musicians of various ethnic and musical backgrounds. By presenting musicians and ensembles from different ethnicities, nationalities, and musical trainings/genres, Sound of Dragon Society re-defines Chinese music and reflects Vancouver’s multicultural environment and a highly creative music scene.



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