New music, yes—but also new ideas, collaborations and fusions at ISCM World New Music Days 2017

Vicky Chow is one of four pianists interpreting contemporary work in the closing concert of ISCM World New Music Days 2017.

ISCM World New Music Days 2017 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to explore new music.

From marquee concerts to musical adaptations of literary works to immersive avant-garde works, the week-long festival features a cornucopia of new ideas, collaborations and fusions from all over the world.

From Nov. 2-8, Vancouver hosts the event, which is held in a different city each year. The schedule features over 30 events, 135 composers, and music from 50 countries at various venues in the city. Of special note are the opening and closing events.

Opening Concert: Life Reflected (Nov 2 at the Centre, 777 Homer St.)—Presented by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Life Reflected brings together four Canadian composers. The concert celebrates “youth, promise and courage,” according to, as revealed in portraits of four women: Canadian author Alice Munro, B.C. cyberbullying victim Amanda Todd, Canada’s first female astronaut Roberta Bondar, and First Nations poet Rita Joe.

National Arts Centre Orchestra conductor and artistic director Alexander Shelley says that he drew inspiration for the programme from “looking at these four remarkable Canadian women who have found through different sacrifices and challenges, their voices.”

The pieces include Dear Life, with music by New York-based Zosha Di Castri, and words and lyrics adapted from the story by Alice Munro (adaptation by Merilyn Simonds). Also featured: Vancouver composer Jocelyn Morlock’s My Name is Amanda Todd, Montreal composer Nicole Lizée’s Bondarsphere, and Ontario composer John Estacio’s I Lost My Talk. The latter is based on a poem by Mi’kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe.

Closing Concert: A Kind of Magic (Nov. 8 at the Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St.)—The closing night concert features music for solo piano. Pianists Vicky Chow, Eve Egoyan, Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, and Megumi Masaki will present work that ranges from contemporary to conceptual to experimental. The compositions include work from Slovakia, Taiwan, South Korea, South Africa and more.

ISCM World New Music Days 2017 is an initiative of the International Society for Contemporary Music. Founded in 1922, the ISCM is the world’s premier network for new music. The Vancouver edition represents a collaboration between ISCM, the Canadian League of Composers, and Vancouver’s own Music on Main contemporary music society.

For more info, visit

For a special hotel package available to those attending, call 604-682-5511 or visit Promo code: ISCM World New Music Days 2017.

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