Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto
Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto (ICOT) was founded by five Toronto-based composers and musicians in 2011 with the mission of creating new works that bridge Canadian and Iranian culture through music and art.
ICOT’s first project ,“Persian Piano Night”, was performed in Toronto, included 4 newly composed pieces by the members of the group, and a few pieces by other well-known Iranian composers. The extraordinary reception of this concert compelled ICOT to tour this concert to three more cities in Ontario and Quebec in 2012, and also to record and produce these pieces at the main recording studio at McGill University.
“New Poetry, New Music” - ICOT’s second professional activity in Toronto in 2013 – included new compositions based on Iranian contemporary poetry written for Ton Beau string quartet, voice and narrator. During this season, ICOT received a letter of appreciation from the Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture And Sport for its artistic and cultural endeavours and contributions to the community. ICOT appeared on the BBC Farsi’s “Maks” program in early 2013. This 20 minute program included interviews with members about the origins of the collective, as well as recordings of excerpts of the pieces in the concert. In summer 2013, ICOT was commissioned by Toronto Tirgan Festival for creation of the large scale multimedia project “Operatic Narration of Arash the Archer” which was performed as the opening ceremony of the festival on the Westjet stage at the Harbourfront Centre. ICOT was recipient of Toronto Arts Council Grant for this work and was well received by over 2500 audience present at the venue, plus over 2000 audience watching the performance through livestream globally. ICOT’s project “Five Tableaux from Khosro and Shirin”, a short ballet featuring YOU dance artists of the National Ballet of Canada and Cathedral Bluff Symphony Orchestra was, performed on May 24th, 2014 in Toronto.
ICOT’s next project was presenting Secret of Solstice in December of 2014 in Toronto. This concert featured five new works written for ICOT orchestra and Toronto based soprano, Zorana Sadiq and accordion player, Michael Bridge. The concert was linking Iranian Yalda night to Christmas! Since 2011, ICOT has been involved in a numerous festivals including the “ Toronto Nuit Blanche”, “Iranian Heritage Day” at the Royal Ontario Museum and “What Next?” as part of Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra New music Festival, and 2015 Tirgan Festival is continuing the creation of new works. ICOT was commissioned by the National Ballet of Canada again in 2014 for a Trio that was performed 17 times for various schools around Toronto. In June of 2015 ICOT was invited to perform a full program of Piano music at the Canadian Music Centre's CMC on the 13th series. ICOT in 2015-16 season did a series of concets at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in partnership with North York Arts. The concerts included working with Ladom Ensemble and various other chambe groups. One concert called Land of Four Seasons was based on the inspirations of the four seasons in Iran.