The Longest Night: Music for Solstice (Solace)

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is proud to announce the release of a new series of filmed performances titled The Longest Night: Music for Solstice (Solace). The videos, filmed at The Cultch and the Orpheum Annex earlier this year, feature the VICO String Orchestra with conductor Janna Sailor, soloists Mark Takeshi McGregor (flute) and Geling Jiang (erhu), and special guests Vashaan Ensemble – playing repertoire that spans cultures, centuries and continents. The videos are now live on the VICO’s website and YouTube channel; the full programme can be viewed here:

The series includes world premiere performances of new works for intercultural string orchestra by Leslie Uyeda (Hommage à Hafiz) and Rita Ueda (Fly Away Phoenix, Into the Sky); new arrangements by Mark Armanini (Night Song IV from his own catalogue) and Farshid Samandari (Passepied by Claude Debussy); and music for the traditional Persian instruments of Vashaan Ensemble by Saina Khaledi and Ali Razmi, as well as a selection of folk songs from Balouchistan and Shiraz (Iran).


New Digital Album: What the Night Bird Told the Wanderer

On Friday December 17, the VICO released a new digital album – a 20th Anniversary celebration project that has been a decade in the making. “What the Night Bird Told the Wanderer” features the orchestra with Song Yun (erhu), Amir Haghighi (tenor), and Laudate Singers, performing music by Mark Armanini and Moshe Denburg.

In 2011, the VICO marked its 10th anniversary with two major concerts: Classical Meets Intercultural, and Orchestral Evolution, featuring two large-scale compositions that combined European classical sensibilities with a whole world of intercultural possibilities. Both Night Bird Singing by Mark Armanini and Dreams of the Wanderer by Moshe Denburg were recorded at the time – but busy schedules intervened and years passed, and the recordings were never finished. Ten years later, as the VICO celebrates its 20th anniversary season in 2021-22, composer- producers Mark and Moshe went back into the studio with engineer Sheldon Zaharko to mix and master their pieces, in order to release them to the world at last. More on the album here:

We share these performances in the hope that this colourful, innovative music, created and performed in a spirit of cross-cultural collaboration, will help to combat the darkness of winter here in the northern hemisphere, and the unsettled feeling of another unusual and challenging holiday season.

Media contact: Melanie Thompson |