Sonic Boom 2020: March 19-22, 2020

Vancouver Pro Musica


Sonic Boom 2020

March 19-22, 2020

Pyatt Hall, Vancouver Academy of Music & Orpheum Annex

A four day festival of exciting new music created by BC’s finest composers, performed by eclectic combinations of some of BC’s finest musicians!

Featured Artist: Rachel Kiyo Iwassa

Ensemble-in-Residence: Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Tickets: $18 Students, $22 General, $55 Festival Pass

Buy Tickets in Advance  on Brown Paper Tickets

Mixed Ensemble concerts 

Concert No. 1: March 19 at 7:30pm, Pyatt Hall

Leslie Opatril, To Ignite a Star

             Elysian Trio: Paul Hung, flute; Sarah Kwok, viola; Vivian Chen, harp

Yuxi (Lucy) Li, Dragonfly

             Dailin Hsieh, guzheng; Mark Haney, double bass; Chris Blaber, percussion

Alvin Leung, Spring Sketches

              Paul Hung, flute and alto flute; Aiden Wong, clarinet; Sarah Kwok, viola; Chris Blaber, percussion

Isaac Zee, Conversations

                  Black Dog String Quartet: Elyse Jacobson and Molly Mackinnon, violins; John Kastelic, viola; Doug Gorkoff, cello

Wylie Ferguson, Yuputka

Black Dog String Quartet: Elyse Jacobson and Molly Mackinnon, violins; John Kastelic, viola; Doug Gorkoff, cello


Goushi Yonekura, Four interludes from a dance drama about Dante’s Comedia

Eric Wilson, cello

Ramsey Sadaka, Arioso

Paolo Bortolussi, flute; Aaron Graham and Julia Chien, percussion

Jacob Seyer, Meditation No. 3 for Solo Guitar

Jacob Seyer, guitar

Dubravko Pajalic, 2 Melodies

Heather Pawsey, soprano; Paolo Bortolussi, alto flute; Eric Wilson cello; Corey Hamm piano


Concert No. 2:  March 20 at 7:30pm, Pyatt Hall

Kelly Yixuan Wang, 雪だるまさんとあの少女 (Mr. Snowman and the Girl)

Boris Ulanowicz, violin; Julie Begg, clarinet; Finn Maniche, cello; Aydan Con, piano

Gabriella Yorke, 5 Short Sketches for Piano and Cello

Laine Longton, cello; Aydan Con, piano

Mark Marinic, three diversions

          Julie Begg, bass clarinet

Darren Xu, The Adolescent’s Mind

Julie Begg, clarinet; Aydan Con, piano

Jack Campbell, 176

Aydan Con, piano; Aaron Graham, vibraphone; Finn Maniche, cello


Robert Humber, breath shapes

Joan Blackman, violin; Jane Hayes, piano

Alex Jang, momentary encounters (7)

Edward Dardis, accordion

Réjean Marois, Elleniade

Ellen Marple, trombone; Jane Hayes, piano

 John L. Baker, From A Sparrow Song

The Sea to Sky Trio: Julia Nolan, saxophone; Joan Blackman, violin; Jane Hayes, piano


Concert No. 3 : March 21, 7:30pm,

Vancouver Academy of Music (Koerner Recital Hall)

Featured Artist: Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa

Rodney Sharman, Wounded 

Jennifer Butler, Shelter  

Peter Krejcar, Diaphanous

Chris Albanese, remaining gestures 

Walker Williams, small  


MJ Paquette, play{h}ers passage

Glenn Sutherland, Holy Ground

Javier Canseco, Scattered Light 

Kara Gibbs, Intertidal  

Jeffrey Ryan, AfterShock 

About the Artist: Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa

Hailed in the press as a “keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse” (Georgia Straight) with the “emotional intensity” to take a piece “from notes on a page to a stunning work of art” (Victoria Times Colonist), Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa is recognized among Canada’s foremost contemporary music pianists.  Selected to close the ISCM World New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, Rachel has performed in the Netherlands, Germany, US and across Canada, with engagements including Muziekweek Gaudeamus, Music TORONTO, Music on Main, Vancouver New Music, Redshift, Western Front, Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the Aventa Ensemble (Victoria), CONTACT contemporary music (Toronto), New Works Calgary, Groundswell New Music (Winnipeg), and Vancouver Pro Musica.

Rachel has commissioned or premiered works by many of Canada’s most eminent composers, such as Hildegard Westerkamp, Rodney Sharman, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, Jordan Nobles, Jeffrey Ryan, Farshid Samandari, Marci Rabe, and Emily Doolittle. One half of the acclaimed contemporary flute/piano duo Tiresias with Mark Takeshi McGregor, Rachel has also collaborated with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Judith Forst, Heather Pawsey, the Bozzini Quartet, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. Her interdisciplinary adventures have led to work with photo-based artist SD Holman, playwright/director David Bloom, choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, and multi-media provocateur Paul Wong.

Rachel’s debut CD, Cosmophony, has been praised as “brilliant” and “unforgettable” (Vancouver Sun) and for “the passion, intensity and the nuanced playing she’s acclaimed for… she manages to instill a sense of dynamic tension and pull to every note” (The Province). Rachel was a co-founder of the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver, recognized as one of the top 5 festivals of its kind worldwide.


Concert No 4: March 22, 7:30pm, Orpheum Annex

Ensemble in Residence (Pacific Baroque Orchestra)

Edward Top, Clairvoyant

Trevor Tunnacliffe, Curl

Kamran Shahrokhi, Ocean Rush


F. Scott Thompson, Hidden Gala

Carl Winter, Intrusions

Henry From, Dances at the End of Time


About the Artists: Pacific Baroque Orchestra

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) is recognized as one of Canada’s most exciting and innovative ensembles performing “early music for modern ears”. PBO brings the music of the past up to date by performing with cutting edge style and enthusiasm. Formed in 1990, the orchestra quickly established itself as a force in Vancouver’s burgeoning music scene with the ongoing support of Early Music Vancouver.

In 2009 PBO welcomed Alexander Weimann as Artistic Director. His imaginative programming and expert leadership have drawn in many new concertgoers, and his creativity and engaging musicianship have carved out a unique and vital place in the cultural landscape of Vancouver.

PBO regularly joins forces with internationally celebrated Canadian guest artists, providing performance opportunities for Canadian musicians while exposing West Coast audiences to a spectacular variety of talent. The Orchestra has also toured BC, the northern United States and across Canada as far as the East Coast. The musicians of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra have been at the core of many large-scale productions by Early Music Vancouver in recent years, including many summer festival performances led by Alexander Weimann.


Student Composers masterclass 

Featuring:  Composer: Rita Ueda and Performers Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa and Mark Takeshi McGregor

 Martha Lou Henley classroom (VSO School of Music) March 22 at 10am


Scott F. Thompson

Jack Campbell

Arvin Fekri

Oi Ying Priscilla Cheung

Katherine Bonness

Ngoc Tran Phung

(Free Admission)