The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s Global Soundscapes Festival presents four days of adventurous classical and world music – a rich feast of sounds & rhythms from Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Canada. Festival concerts will showcase outstanding local musicians alongside acclaimed national and international guest ensembles.

Featured acts include Montreal’s Mativetsky, Amiri & Pagé (tabla, santur & harp), Taiwan’s Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Chih-Sheng Chen), and Vancouver’s own Zeellia (Slavic soul music), Borderland (Indian + Persian traditional instruments), the BC Chinese Music Ensemble, and the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra.

In the intimate atmosphere of the Historic Theatre at the Cultch, audiences can expect to see and hear many virtuoso performers playing instruments from different cultures, rarely seen together on the same stage. The Festival offers a beautifully diverse sound palette and a range of innovative, inspiring approaches to making music that transcends borders.

Festival Programme

Concert #1 – Thursday, June 6 | 7:30 PM

Double bill:

Zeellia | Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra

The Festival opens with a continent-spanning double bill! Vancouver’s Zeellia combines the powerful, piercing harmonies and mournful, minor key melodies of Slavic folk music with a modern artist’s approach to arranging, sung both a capella and with bass, violin, accordion, and hurdy gurdy accompaniment.

Then, the Festival’s featured international guest ensemble, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, takes the stage under the baton of founding artistic director Chih-Sheng Chen. A strong musical force in Taiwan, LgCCO represents a new generation of Chinese orchestral music, demonstrating the energy, passion, and proficiency of its dedicated musicians with every performance. The ensembl breathes new life into an art form that holds ancient roots,  and devotes itself to promoting Chinese music on the world stage.

Concert #2 – Friday, June 7 | 7:30 PM

Double bill:

Borderland | Mativetsky, Amiri & Pagé

The Festival’s second concert features another exciting double bill featuring two ground-breaking new ensembles.

Borderland is a new cross-cultural musical collaboration originally developed by the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO). Five virtuoso performers on traditional Indian and Persian instruments have worked together since the spring of 2023 to learn from each other, share musical ideas, and develop into a cohesive and exciting new intercultural ensemble.

Then, Montréal’s Mativetsky, Amiri & Pagé take the stage. This new trio is made up of musical adventurers, explorers, innovators, and virtuosi whose collective creations combine tradition and modernity, emotion and spontaneity; a dynamic coming together of santur, harp, and tabla unlike anything you’ve heard before.

Concert #3 – Saturday, June 8 | 7:30 PM

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra

with members of Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra

Chih-Sheng Chen, conductor

Saturday’s concert marks the culmination of a major international collaboration undertaken by the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra with Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra. Part 1 of this project saw the VICO Tentet and members of LgCCO performing at prestigious festivals in Taiwan and South Korea in early April 2024; now in Part 2, the VICO hosts LgCCO in Vancouver and will present its touring repertoire to the hometown crowd! We are proud to showcase a programme jam-packed with Canadian composers, including Rita Ueda, Farshid Samandari, Moshe Denburg, Jin Zhang, and Lan Tung. 

Concert #4 – Sunday, June 9 | 3 PM

BC Chinese Music Ensemble

with Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra

Chih-Sheng Chen, conductor

The Festival closes with a matinee performance featuring the BC Chinese Music Ensemble with international guests Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra. The BCCME is unique in Canada as a large traditional music ensemble capable of playing demanding contemporary work alongside the classics of Chinese traditional music. Formed in 2002, the BCCME’s mission is to present performances of the very best music by the finest Chinese professional composers and musicians. The BCCME performers are graduates from renowned music academies and experienced soloists and leaders of the top national and provincial orchestras and troupes in China and North America.