KUNÉ – Canada’s Global Orchestra explores and celebrates Canada’s cultural diversity through the shared language of music. The eleven musicians hail from all corners of the globe (from Peru, Burkina Faso, China, Iran and beyond) and together, create a sound that is at once global and uniquely local.

Two years after its debut performance, KUNÉ is collaboratively developing Universal Echoes, a suite of compositions that explores themes of diversity, immigration, emigration and community through music, storytelling, dance and visual projections.  Interwoven with the individual tales of each performer, this new staging will convey intimate, first-hand accounts of the excitement and challenges of moving to a new country.


KUNÉ – Canada’s Global Orchestra was founded in 2016 by The Royal Conservatory of Music to explore and celebrate Canada’s cultural diversity and pluralism. The virtuoso musicians came to Toronto from around the world, and play instruments as diverse as they are, from the tar of Iran to the bouzouki of Greece to the sitar of Pakistan. The ensemble seeks to communicate in ways that words, politicians, and spiritual leaders cannot, and help to find a common language through music.

Creative team

  • Artistic producer, composer and performer Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk
  • Co-musical directors, composers and performers Paco Luviano, Demetri Petsalakis, Matias Recharte
  • Composers and performers Aline Morales, Anwar Khurshid, Dora Wang, Lasso, Luis Deniz, Padideh Ahrarnejad and Selcuk Suna
  • Director and choreographer Liza Balkan
  • Executive Producer Mervon Mehta

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $80,000 allows KUNÉ to engage an expanded creative team to re-imagine the live performance and provides additional time for the ensemble to collaboratively develop a new suite, integrate multimedia elements, and workshop new orchestral arrangements.


KUNÉ – Canada’s Global Orchestra was created by The Royal Conservatory of Music in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum, Batuki Music Society, CBC, Diasporic Genius, Lula Music and Arts Centre, Small World Music, York University Department of Music, and 918 Bathurst Centre.

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

Performance dates

Past performances

November 14, 2020:  Koerner Hall (Toronto), presented by The Royal Conservatory of Music