VICO: Orchestral Evolution

Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Gala Concert

One of the city’s most innovative world music ensembles celebrates a successful first decade on November 12, by doing what it does best: creating and presenting new music by Canadian composers – music that builds bridges between ancient and modern sounds and styles, performed by some of Vancouver’s finest musicians on instruments from all over the world. It’s the grand scale of its artistic vision that has always set the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra apart, so it’s fitting that its 10th anniversary concert will feature the full 24-member ensemble with North Shore-based chamber choir Laudate Singers and Iranian-born tenor soloist Amir Haghighi: 50 musicians in total, who will perform the world premieres of major new pieces by Vancouver composers Jin Zhang, Edward Henderson and Rita Ueda as well as works by Elliot Weisgarber (in a new arrangement by Mark Armanini) and Moshe Denburg.

ORCHESTRAL EVOLUTION: Gala 10th Anniversary Concert
With special guests Laudate Singers
Saturday November 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm
Norman Rothstein Theatre (950 West 41st Ave., Vancouver)
Tickets ($28/$18) & information:

“On our 10th anniversary, we are reminded of how fortunate we are to have, here in Vancouver, not only a tremendously diverse artistic population but one that is willing to work interculturally,” said VICO co-artistic director Moshe Denburg. “This sincere globalism is what makes our city truly world class.”

This global outlook will certainly be reflected in the featured repertoire for Orchestral Evolution. Edward Henderson’s new work for intercultural orchestra and choir, Drowned Out – a folk tale, is dedicated to the peoples of the Narmada Valley, India, who continue to protest the ongoing construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam system. It promises to be a moving tribute to the millions of displaced indigenous peoples around the world.

Jin Zhang will take audiences on a journey to Yunnan (a region in southwestern China of extraordinary ethnic and cultural diversity) with his new piece, which grew out of a research trip in 2010, during which he studied the region’s intricate folk music and brought several plucked and percussion instruments back to incorporate into his work.

Also on the programme: Yamato no Haru by seminal intercultural composer Elliot Weisgarber, in a new arrangement for choir and intercultural orchestra by VICO co-artistic director Mark Armanini, the premiere of Prayer, a piece for choir and percussion by Rita Ueda, and Dreams of the Wanderer, a major work for intercultural orchestra, tenor soloist and choir by Moshe Denburg, which incorporates settings of texts in Hebrew, English, Chinese and Farsi.

Orchestral Evolution is the final event in the VICO’s fall “City Full of Sound” series, produced in partnership with the City of Vancouver as a celebration of both the VICO’s 10th anniversary and the city’s 125th. “City Full of Sound” was designed to showcase Vancouver (past and present) as a city of wonderful diversity, a place that is uniquely equipped to foster adventurous cross-cultural collaborations. Only in such a city – one built of immigrant communities who not only tolerate but celebrate each other’s differences, one that is home to a world music scene internationally renowned for its diversity, possessing a deep pool of talent and artistic innovation – could an ensemble like the VICO, Canada’s first and only professional intercultural orchestra, have grown and thrived for ten years and counting.

“City Full of Sound” is presented by the VICO with support from the City of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Grants Program.