The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is proud to present a summer concert series featuring exciting NEW chamber music for intercultural ensembles: works-in-progress, new arrangements, and world premieres by emerging and established composers from Canada, the Netherlands, the United States, and Iran. Join us for four evenings of adventurous music performed on instruments from all over the world!

“…the United Nations of music” – CBC Radio

“Music that sounds like Vancouver looks” – The Georgia Straight



CONCERT #1: The Borderland ensemble project brings together five virtuoso performers on Indian and Persian traditional instruments: Sharanjeet Singh Mangh (sitar), Sunny Matharu (tabla), Sina Ettehad (kamanche), Saina Khaledi (santoor), and Ali Razmi (tar, setar).

While they come from very different musical cultures, all five are highly skilled improvisors who are used to learning and sharing music aurally (as opposed to rehearsing from sheet music as in the Western/European tradition). They have worked together over the course of several weeks to learn from each other, share musical ideas, and develop as a new intercultural ensemble.

Join us on June 27th in beautiful Pyatt Hall to witness what they’ve created! Tickets are pay what you can at the door.

CONCERT #2: Celebrate Canada Day with an evening of music that builds bridges! This concert features the world premieres of new works developed through the VICO’s annual Sounds Global Composers’ Workshop. Participants have created and workshopped pieces for an intercultural wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, Persian ney, and Chinese sheng). Guaranteed to expand your sonic horizons, and offer a window into the VICO’s ground-breaking methods of cross-cultural collaboration.

Tickets are pay what you can at the door!


Paolo Bortolussi, flutes; Geronimo Mendoza, oboe; Liam Hockley, clarinets; Tim Chan, sheng; Amir Eslami, ney

FREE Lecture: Visiting Artist Joël Bons on Intercultural Music Collaborations

July 3, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Canadian Music Centre (837 Davie St., Vancouver)

Award-winning Dutch composer Joël Bons is a long-time VICO friend and collaborator, and the founder of our “sister orchestra” in Amsterdam, the Atlas Ensemble, which brings together musicians from China, Japan, Iran, India, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Turkey and Europe. He will give a talk on his work with Atlas, and on the fascinations and challenges of intercultural music in general.

CONCERT #3: Having successfully relaunched our bi-annual Summer Academy in 2023 (after several years of pandemic-related hiatus), we can’t wait to show you what comes out of this one-of-a-kind creative intensive! Participating composers and performers spend two weeks working with a distinguished faculty of VICO composer mentors, roster musicians, and international guests such as composer/conductor Joël Bons from the Netherlands. They create new compositions for intercultural chamber ensembles (a quartet and a tentet), which will be premiered in this concert under the baton of conductor Janna Sailor.

Also on the bill: As the first spring blossoms awaken through the snow by Rita Ueda (winner of the 2022 Jules Leger Prize for New Canadian Chamber Music), as well as compositions by Lan Tung and Amir Eslami.

CONCERT #4: In the triumphant finale of our summer concert series, the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, conducted by Janna Sailor, performs a new arrangement of Nomaden by visiting composer Joël Bons (The Netherlands). Bons is a long-time VICO friend and collaborator, and founder of our “sister orchestra” in Amsterdam, the Atlas Ensemble, which brings together musicians from China, Japan, Iran, India, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Turkey and Europe. Nomaden, originally written for cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Atlas Ensemble, won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize of music’.

This concert also features the world premiere of Ripple, Pitch, Rise, Ritual by Robyn Jacob, a rising star in Canada’s new music scene who has been commissioned by Re:Naissance Opera, Chor Leoni, Architek Percussion, Little Chamber Music, and many more.

Also on the bill: Suite concertante: à cette époque-là by VICO Composer-in-Residence Farshid Samandari, which was recorded and released by the VICO on our 2020 album In the Key of the World.