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SOUND OF DRAGON MUSIC FESTIVAL MAKES ONTARIO DEBUT MAY 20-24, 2015

W/ DATES IN TORONTO / MARKHAM / LONDON / WATERLOO

TORONTO – The Sound of Dragon Music Festival is coming to Ontario from May 20-May 24, introducing new audiences to a spectacular musical event rooted in Chinese tradition but distinctly Canadian fare. Erhu, pipa, zheng, sheng, and ruan share the stage with violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, and clarinet, and combine with various percussion instruments from around the world. With concerts and workshops presented by Toronto’s Small World Music (as part of their Asian Music Series), the Fort York National Historic Site, Markham Theatre, Sunfest-London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts Inc, and Waterloo’s Neruda Arts, the festival brings a unique approach to preserving authentic traditional music, while promoting creativity and innovation. This marks the Ontario debut for both the Sound of Dragon Festival and The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra. For more information, please visit www.vi-co.org.

‘We have no idea why this hasn’t been done before, but we’re glad the Orchid Ensemble’s Lan Tung has organized this long-overdue festival: her eclectic interests will ensure an eye-opening look at the very wide world of “Chinese music”.’ ~ Georgia Straight

The Sound of Dragon Music Festival which originated in Vancouver in 2014, features members of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) in collaboration with musicians from Taiwan and Toronto to intertwine diverse styles: ancient folk and classical repertoire, contemporary compositions, world, fusion, and creative improvisation. By presenting musicians from different ethnicities, nationalities, and musical trainings/genres, Sound of Dragon re-defines Chinese music and reflects Canada’s multicultural environment.

The programming will sample the music from Vancouver’s inaugural festival with the input of Ontario and Taiwanese collaborators, while VICO shares with Ontario music communities and audiences the unique inter-cultural musical experience with its original repertoire accumulated over the past decade in its debut performance outside BC. This international, innovative project celebrates the 2015 Asian Heritage Month of May with superb music and world premieres.

new FYNHS logo 2011 redWEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015 @ 8PM                                             
Fort York, Toronto – Blue Barracks
250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto
Tickets: Free admission www.toronto.ca/fortevents

This concert is the meeting ground of musicians from Vancouver, Taiwan and Toronto. Members of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and Taiwan’s Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra will open the night with solo, duo, and ensemble performances of traditional and contemporary music for Chinese instruments. They will be joined by percussionist Rick Sacks, saxophone player Danny Oore, and suling/Indonesian flute player Andrew Timar from Toronto to explore and improvise in various unique instrumentations. This concert includes the Toronto premiere of Vancouver composer Lan Tung’s Ba Ban Variations and Taiwanese American composer Chih-Chen Wei’s Between Stream and Hills III.

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THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015 @ 8PM
Small World Music Centre,
180 Shaw Street, Toronto ON
Tickets: $20 http://smallworldmusic.com/asian-music-series/

As part of Small World’s Asian Music Series, this concert will present a small ensemble made up of players from the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and Taiwan’s Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra. This lively program presents a unique interpretation of folk music as well as original works with influences from Indian, Klezmer, Persian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and even Beatles music! Joining the ensemble are Toronto pipa virtuoso Wen Zhao and clarinetist Bob Stevenson. This concert will feature Taiwanese American composer Chih-Chen Wei’s Between Stream and Hills III and give the Toronto premiere of Vancouver composer John Oliver’s Eagle Flies to Mountain .

FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2015 @ 8PM
All Saints Anglican Church
1100 Denison St, Markham, ON
Presented by the Markham Theatre
Tickets: $25, 905.305.7469 (SHOW)  Buy tickets here

The festival’s main concert features a 14-member chamber orchestra of Chinese and western instruments, conducted by maestro Chih-Sheng Chen from Taiwan. The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s core group is augmented by musicians from Taiwan and Toronto to perform its unique repertoire accumulated over the past decade. The Chinese classics Er-Quan and Dragon Boat, arranged by Mark Armanini, are performed alongside original compositions including Farshid Samandari’s Axiom Praxis and a world premiere of Lan Tung’s Ma Chao, which fuses Beijing Opera with energetic grooves.

sunfest Colour logoSaturday, May 23, 2015, London @ 8PM
Aeolian Hall
795 Dundas St. E. London, ON
$20 http://www.sunfest.on.ca/content/vancouver-inter-cultural-orchestra

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SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015 @ 6PM
The Jazz Room, Huether Hotel
59 King St. North, Waterloo, ON
Tickets: $20 Adv. / $25 Door / Students & Seniors $10 Adv., $15 Door
http://www.nerudaarts.ca/events/vico-spirit-vancouvers-sound-dragon-music-festival

The London and Waterloo concerts will present a small ensemble made up of members of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, with special guests from Taiwan’s Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra. This international collaboration brings together erhu (Chinese violin), sheng (Chinese mouth organ), zheng (Chinese zither), ruan (Chinese lute), western violin and world percussion to present a lively program of unique interpretation of folk music as well as original works. The influences include Indian, Klezmer, Persian, Chinese and Taiwanese.

More about the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra:

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra is a professional orchestra devoted specifically to performing new intercultural music on a grand scale. Founded in 2001, it was one of the first such ensembles in the world, and is currently the only one of its kind in Canada. The VICO’s core roster consists of 24 musicians, some of whom are trained in the Western (European) classical tradition, while others are performers in the musical traditions of cultures from all over the world (Asian, African, East Indian and Middle Eastern, among others). The VICO’s mission is to act as a forum for the creation of a new musical art form, one in which all of Canada’s resident cultures can take part. Through composition, performance and educational outreach to both music professionals and the general public, the VICO serves as a voice for Canadian composers and musicians of diverse backgrounds, and fosters the creation of musical works that fuse and transcend cultural traditions. The VICO has commissioned and performed over 40 new intercultural pieces by ground-breaking Canadian composers. www.vi-co.org

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Core members & soloists:
Lan Tung – erhu/Chinese violin & voice (Vancouver)
Chih-Sheng Chen – conductor (Taiwan)
Jonathan Bernard – percussion (Vancouver)
Zhimin Yu – ruan/Chinese lute (Vancouver)
Domagoj Ivanovic – violin (Vancouver)
Dailin Hsieh− zheng/Chinese zither (Taiwan)
Ling Hsuan Shen – sheng/Chinese mouth organ (Taiwan)
Wen Zhao – pipa/Chinese lute (Toronto)

Featured Composers:
John Oliver (Vancouver)
Lan Tung (Vancouver)
Moshe Denburg (Vancouver)
Mark Armanini (Vancouver)
Farshid Samandari (Vancouver)
Chih-Chen Wei (US/Taiwan)

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