VICO Summer Academy 2018

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) invites established and emerging musicians and composers to apply for the second annual VICO Summer Academy, to be held July 23-29, 2018 at Vancouver Community College (1155 East Broadway). 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 opportunity! 

The VICO Summer Academy is an innovative educational initiative that offers hands-on experience in creating and performing intercultural music, over the course of a 1-week intensive. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from and work alongside professional VICO musicians and composers, acquiring new knowledge about orchestration, instrumental techniques (in particular for traditional non-Western instruments that may be unfamiliar to them), improvisation, intercultural ensemble skills and rehearsal methodologies.





1. Ensemble & 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 musics of China and the Middle East; and 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.


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 (Sextet A or B) plus additional instruments if desired (up to 10 players total):

  • Sextet A: viola, kamanche, clarinet, accordion, oud, and vibraphone/hand percussion
  • Sextet B: cello, zheng, erhu, santur, bass, and tombak


3. Lectures & Documentation

The Academy programme includes discussions on musics of different cultures, improvisational techniques, intercultural composition. All workshops and performances will be documented (both audio & visual) for later reference.


4. Concerts

The Academy will culminate with concerts on July 27-29, 2018 at the Orpheum Annex.



Mark Armanini (artistic director)
Farshid Samandari (composer-in-residence)
Moshe Denburg (composer)
Erica Roozendaal (visiting artist; accordion)


Lan Tung (erhu)
Behzad Mirloo (kamanche)
Saina Khaledi (santur)
Mike Brown (clarinet)
Finn Manniche (cello)
Rosanna Chiu (harp)
Eliza Thorn (harp)
Hamin Honari (tombak)
Jonathan Bernard (percussion)


HOW TO APPLY (Application deadline: June 29, 2018)


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 July 6, 2018.  
    3. Payment must be made in full (in a maximum of 2 instalments) by July 13, 2018.
    4. $100 CAD will be retained as a non-refundable registration fee.
    5. In case of cancellation before July 13, 2018, all funds minus the non-refundable portion ($100 CAD) will be returned. After July 13, $250 CAD will be non-refundable. After July 20, the entire payment is non-refundable.

Payment Options 

Pay Tuition (select from dropdown menu)
Applicant Name




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