The 10th biennial Montreal/New Musics festival presents

Musique sans frontières (Music Without Borders)

with host Georges Nicholson

February 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm EST / 4:30 pm Pacific
Watch online (free admission):

View the concert programme in English & French

We are very proud to announce our first-ever appearance in Québec …virtually! While live touring remains on hold, a new VICO filmed concert is slated to open the renowned Festival Montréal / Nouvelles musiques (Montreal/New Musics Festival) on February 18, 2021. The festival and concert are presented and produced by Société de la musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ).

VICO’s online concert, which will be filmed at the Annex in Vancouver Feb. 1-4, also celebrates the release of the orchestra’s new album, In the Key of the World (2020). On the bill: five works by outstanding Canadian composers, including three world premieres:

  • Gypsy Chronicles (2010) by John Oliver
  • Suite concertante: à cette époque-là (2018) by Farshid Samandari
  • Pareidolia (2021) by Farangis Nurulla-Khoja *world premiere
  • As the first spring blossoms awaken through the snow (2021) by Rita Ueda *world premiere
  • Pulau Dewata (1977) by Claude Vivier, in a new arrangement for intercultural ensemble by Mark Armanini (2020)*world premiere

The ensemble, under the baton of conductor Janna Sailor, includes Western classical instruments (violins, violas, cello, contrabass, flutes, oboe, clarinets) alongside erhu, kamanche, tar, sanxian, zheng, suona, tabla, daf, tombak, and other instruments from a range of world traditions. 

“The VICO offers audiences the chance to witness (and participate) in a new art form being born and practiced, one that truly reflects contemporary Canadian culture, and stands strong in opposition to the voices of fear and prejudice that would divide us,” says VICO Artistic Director Mark Armanini. “This opportunity to bring our programming to this prestigious music festival and to audiences across the country has been many years in the making, and it feels like a fitting start to the VICO’s 20th anniversary year. We are excited to introduce ourselves to new listeners in Québec, and very glad that – thanks to the online format – our long-time friends and supporters in Vancouver and elsewhere in the world will be able to watch and listen as well.”

“I have always wanted to program music without limits and without concessions. Right now, the re-opening of concert halls is still compromised, but we’ll certainly be able to present online concerts that will go over and above musical limits!” says Walter Boudreau, the festival’s Artistic Director.

The VICO’s filmed performance will be broadcast, with live commentary by host Georges Nicholson, via the festival’s website ( on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:30 pm EST / 4:30 pm PST. The video will remain available at the same link for six months; excerpts will be posted on the VICO’s YouTube channel at a later date.

We hope you can join us!

Janna Sailor – Conductor
Mark Armanini – Artistic Director & Producer
Farshid Samandari – Composer-in-Residence & Senior Project Manager
Alistair Eagle – Videography (assisted by Don Xaliman Camillia Frey)
John Webber – Lighting Design
Sheldon Zaharko – Sound
Levi Pease – Orpheum Annex Head Technician
Melanie Thompson – Production Stage Manager
Mike Brown – Production Manager & COVID Safety Assistant
Gwen Kallio – Publicity
Murray Paterson Marketing Group – Digital Marketing
John Endo Greenaway – Graphic Design