VICO: Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves Festival

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2014 (UPDATED October 9)


October 22 – November 3, 2014
Various venues in Vancouver, Burnaby & Victoria, BC
Tickets & information:


The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra launches its 14th season with Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves 2014. This innovative festival celebrates the music of Japan, and explores interactions between Japanese and Canadian cultures through educational events, workshops, chamber recitals and orchestral concerts in Vancouver, Victoria and Burnaby.

The VICO is proud to welcome four master musicians from Japan and the Netherlands for Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves: Naomi Sato (sho), Issui Minegishi (ichigenkin), Bruce Huebner (shakuhachi) and Miyama McQueen-Tokita (koto). These virtuoso performers will join forces with the musicians and composers of the VICO to present music that spans centuries and continents, from traditional repertoire dating back to the ancient Imperial courts of Japan all the way to new contemporary intercultural works by Japanese and Canadian composers.

The Consulate General of Japan in Vancouver has officially recognized Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves as a signature event in connection with the 125th Anniversary of the establishment of a Japanese diplomatic office in Canada. Join the musicians and composers of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, our international guest artists and our community partners in celebrating friendships, cultural connections and fruitful artistic collaborations of the past, present and future.



Recitals & Concerts 

In An Autumn Garden, featuring Naomi Sato (sho)
October 22, 2014 at 8pm
Orpheum Annex (823 Seymour Street, Vancouver)
Additional info:

Tiresias Duo and Tempest Flute Ensemble combine forces to present an exploration of the great Japanese music tradition of Gagaku. This event showcases new works by Canadian composers Hiroki Tsurumoto, James Beckwith Maxwell, Brian Harman, in addition to a special presentation of Toru Takemitsu’s Gagaku masterpiece, In An Autumn Garden.

Naomi Sato, Miyama McQueen-Tokita & Bruce Huebner with Emily Carr String Quartet
October 26, 2014 at 7 pm
Open Space Gallery
510 Fort St., Victoria, BC
Tickets $16/$11 in advance; $20/$15 at the door, on sale via

A chamber concert in an intimate setting, featuring traditional music alongside works for strings and Japanese instruments by contemporary Japanese composers Minoru Miki and Toru Takemitsu, and VICO Composer-in-Residence Farshid Samandari.

Breathing the Past: Music From Ancient Japan
October 29, 2014 at 12 pm
Roy Barnet Hall at UBC
Vancouver, BC

Gagaku, zen, traditional & folk music with Naomi Sato, Issui Minegishi, Miyama McQueen-Tokita & Bruce Huebner.

A Kuroshio Breeze: Chamber Music for Voice & Japanese Instruments

Naomi Sato, Issui Minegishi, Miyama McQueen-Tokita & Bruce Huebner, with percussionist Eien Hunter-Ishikawa and soprano Heather Pawsey, perform traditional and contemporary music by Japanese and Canadian composers, including Toshio Hosokawa, Rita Ueda, Elliot Weisgarber, Chris Reiche, Randy Raine-Reusch and Farshid Samandari.

October 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm
The Orpheum Annex
823 Seymour Street, Vancouver

November 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm (pre-concert talk at 6:45pm)
Nikkei Cultural Centre
6688 Southoaks Cresc., Burnaby

Chrysanthemums & Maple Leaves: Japanese Interventions
Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra with Owen Underhill, conductor
November 1, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Frederic Wood Theatre at UBC
6354 Crescent Road, Vancouver

Our special guests will join the 16-piece Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra for the flagship concert of the festival, featuring concerti for sho, ichigenken, shakuhachi and koto by Japanese and Canadian composers including Elliot Weisgarber, Farshid Samandari, Jin Zhang, Dai Fujikura and Issui Minegishi.

Educational Events & Workshops

Meet the Instruments: Lecture/Recitals

Learn about the instruments of these ancient traditions from the masters who play them. Sho, shakuhachi and koto will be featured at the Victoria Public Library (October 24, 3:30 pm) and the Victoria Japanese Cultural Fair (October 25, 12:15 pm). A workshop on the sho and shakuhachi will be presented in Vancouver at UBC School of Music (October 27, 12-1 pm), followed by the ichigenkin and koto at UBC Asian Centre (October 27, 2-3 pm). Finally, ichigenkin, sho and flute will be showcased at Vancouver Japanese Language School (November 1, 1 pm).

Reading Session for Composers

An opportunity for composers to workshop sketches and new works with our guest artists. These sessions are open and free for the general public. Registration is required for active participants (please contact

October 26, 1:30 pm (sho, shakuhachi & koto) University of Victoria
November 3, 12:00 pm (sho & shakuhachi) Roy Barnet Hall at UBC School of Music
 Additional event details & tickets available via