The VICO String Orchestra Project: Filmed Performances

The VICO was fortunate to receive a Digital Now grant for this keystone project of our 20th anniversary season (2021-22): a series of video performances featuring a new configuration of the orchestra – an intercultural string ensemble – performing four new works by Canadian composers:

  • The Ocean of Peace by Moshe Denburg
  • Goldfish by Mark Armanini
  • Tegami by Kara Gibbs (text by Carolyn Nakagawa)
  • Verklärte Lig (Transfigured League) by Farshid Samandari

The VICO’s roster typically includes strings, winds, and percussion, but a specific focus on string instruments is an artistic direction that the VICO has pursued over the past decade in major projects including War, Love & Loss (a collaboration with Pacific Baroque Orchestra in 2013), and Thread (featuring pipa virtuoso Qiu Xia He in 2017).

We have also explored different ways to integrate string instruments from different cultures in smaller ensembles, through projects such as The Composers’ Intercultural Kitchen and our annual Sounds Global Composers’ Workshop.

After many years of development, we have established a diverse core roster of musicians who are inspired by and experienced in the particular challenges of creating and performing intercultural music. We are ready to take the idea of the intercultural string ensemble to the next level artistically, and also bring it into the digital realm. This VICO String Orchestra video series is a true Canadian treasure house of fresh new sounds, techniques, and influences; a powerful visual and audio representation of Canadian intercultural identity.

Janna Sailor, conductor
Marjan Alekhamis, kamanche
Mohammad Amini, kamanche
Sina Ettehad, kamanche
Jun Rong, erhu
Yun Song, erhu
Lan Tung, erhu
Mark Ferris, violin
Yuel Yawney, violin
Francisco Barradas, violin
Sarah Kwok, viola
Isabelle Roland, viola
Joshua Gomberoff, viola
Finn Manniche, cello
Sungyong Lim, cello
Mark Haney, contrabass

Featured soloists:
Dory Hayley (soprano
Amir Eslami (ney)

Filmed & recorded at The Annex in Vancouver, BC in April 2022.

Videography – Alistair Eagle
Audio Recording Engineer – Sheldon Zaharko
Lighting – Jonathan Kim, assisted by Andie Lloyd
Venue Technical Director – Levi Pease

For the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra:
Mark Armanini – Artistic Director & Producer
Farshid Samandari – Composer-in-Residence & Senior Project Manager
Melanie Thompson – Production Manager
Devni De Silva – Operations Manager
Gina Hernandez Sanchez – Marketing & Production Assistant


The VICO respectfully acknowledges that our work takes place on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish people, including the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh Nations.

We also extend heartfelt thanks to the following funders, whose support made this project possible:

The Canada Council for the Arts

The City of Vancouver – Cultural Services