Canadian Musician


RCM Announces Formation of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra

May 30th, 2017

Untitled-3A major initiative by The Royal Conservatory of Music, which celebrates the cultural diversity and pluralism of Canada as it turns 150, is the formation of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra. This project, conceived by Mervon Mehta, executive director of performing arts, is led by Artistic Director David Buchbinder, the Juno Award-winning trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and cultural inventor. More than 100 Canadians hailing from 47 countries applied to be in the orchestra, out of which 12 members have been chosen after three rounds of auditions.

The artists of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra have been in residence at The Conservatory through the 2016-17 concert season. They wrote new music for the ensemble, rehearsed and participated in educational activities, and played in other venues throughout the GTA.

The Orchestra’s debut concert at Koerner Hall in Toronto is on June 2, 2017 is a highly anticipated event that will celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial.

The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra includes 12 professional musicians from around the world who currently make their homes in the Toronto area and in Montreal.

Ensemble members are:

  • Padideh Ahrarnejad (Iran) on tar
  • Sasha Boychouk (Ukraine) on woodwinds and ethnic Ukrainian flutes
  • Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk (Canada – Métis) on violin, viola, jaw harp, spoons, and vocals
  • Luis Deniz (Cuba) on saxophone
  • Anwar Khurshid (Pakistan) on sitar, flute, esraj, tabla, vocals, and harmonium
  • Lasso (Salif Sanou) (Burkina Faso) on Fulani flute, kambélé n’goni, tamanin (talking drum), balafon, djembe, doum-doum, and vocals
  • Paco Luviano (Mexico) on bass
  • Aline Morales (Brazil) on Brazilian percussion and vocals
  • Demetrios Petsalakis (Greece) on oud, guitar, lyra, bouzouki, riq, and Greek baglama
  • Matias Recharte (Peru) on drums, percussion, cajón, conga, and timbales
  • Dorjee Tsering (Tibet) on dranyen, flute, piwang, yang chin (dulcimer), traditional Tibetan vocals
  • Dora Wang (China) on bamboo flute, flute, hulusi, xiao, panpipe, and ocarina


As the news of the project spread throughout the arts community, interest in the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra grew and a tour is now planned. As announced today by Toronto Mayor John Tory and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon, the ensemble will open Toronto’s Canada 150 celebrations on June 30 at Nathan Phillips Square. Further appearances are planned at Sunfest, Cultura, Hillside, and Diasporic Genius Harvest festivals; a performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa as part of both the Canada Scene Festival and the Ottawa Chamberfest; and in October a performance at the National Music Centre in Calgary and a recording at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Friday, June 30: City of Toronto Canada 150 Celebration

Opening of the night’s festivities

Nathan Philips Square in Toronto

5:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 9: Sunfest

Two performances at Sunfest, a non-profit community arts group dedicated to promoting cross-cultural awareness and understanding of the arts across a range of disciplines such as music, dance, and the visual arts.

Victoria Park in London, ON

Friday, July 14: Cultura Festival

Performance at Cultura, which celebrates Toronto’s rich diversity featuring world renowned musicians, tasty international street food, explosive buskers and dancers, interactive art activities, and evening film screenings under the stars.

Mel Lastman Square in Toronto

8 p.m.

Saturday, July 15: Hillside Community Festival

Performance on the main stage as well as workshops at The Hillside Community Festival, a not-for-profit music festival that celebrates creativity through artistic expression, community engagement, and environmental leadership.

Guelph Lake Conservation Area, ON

Sunday, July 23: National Arts Centre

Performance in Ottawa during Canada Scene and presented in collaboration with Ottawa Chamberfest

4 p.m.

Saturday, September 23: Diasporic Genius Harvest Festival

Thorncliffe Park in Toronto

Time TBC

Saturday, September 30: National Music Centre

Performance in Calgary, AB

2 p.m.

Sunday, October 1 to Friday, October 6: Recording in Banff

The ensemble’s first recording

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta

Saturday, February 24 2018: Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Kingston, ON

8 p.m.

More dates will be confirmed for the 2017-18 concert season.

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