The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra is pleased to present the seventh annual edition of this innovative workshop series. Led by VICO Artistic Director Mark Armanini and Composer-in-Residence Farshid Samandari, the series offers composers unique opportunities to learn about and write for traditional instruments from all over the world. Registered participants are encouraged to bring sketches of works in progress for the instruments listed, to be workshopped by VICO musicians over the course of 3 sessions. All the pieces will receive a workshop performance and A/V documentation. VICO will select a number of the completed works for public performance at upcoming concerts in the Lower Mainland.


Dai-lin Hsieh, zheng |John Oliver, guitar | Ali Razmi, tar & setar | Elisa Thorne, harp


Schedule & Location

  • Workshop Session #1: February 9, 2020 | 10:00 am – 12:30 p
  • Workshop Session #2: March 1, 2020 | 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Workshop Session #3: April 26, 2020 | 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

    **All workshop sessions will take place at VSO School of Music (classroom #411) in Vancouver.

     Concert: Friday May 22, 2020 – 7:30 pm at St. Andrews United Church, North Vancouver


Application Procedure

Participating composers must register online by February 7, 2020. Priority will be given to the first 8 applicants.


Registration fee

$80 includes all workshop sessions with the musicians on the dates listed above, and a professional demo recording of the composer’s piece performed by VICO musicians.

  1. Please submit payment via PayPal below. NOTE: you do not need to have (or create) a PayPal account; you can pay with a credit card as you would for any other online purchase.
  2. **IMPORTANT: once you have submitted payment via PayPal, please e-mail with the following details:
    • Your full name (if it is different than the one associated with the credit card you used for payment, please also provide the name on the credit card so that we can connect you with your payment)

NOTE: Composers who do not wish to workshop a piece are welcome to audit any of the above sessions free of charge.

Additional Information:

The compositions brought to the workshop sessions may be works in progress, but must not exceed 8 minutes in length. Composers are required to provide an electronic copy of the final score and parts ONE WEEK in advance of the workshop session at which they are to be performed. Hard copies of all parts and a minimum of two copies of the full score must be provided by the composer at the session. The score and parts need to be legible; the use of digital notation software is recommended but not required (in other words, the electronic copy could be a photograph or a scan of a handwritten score).

For detailed background information about traditional instruments presented in this program, please visit