NEW YORK—Hip hop, R&B, jazz, and acoustic music producer Breyone King stumbled upon a Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra flyer at a restaurant.
“I picked it up, looked at it, and said, you know what, I’m going. Actually I have always wanted to go to Carnegie Hall, experience the symphony,” he said.
But he never expected what happened while he was enjoying the concert. Mr. King described his inner journey with a feeling of elation.
“I felt it more than I listened to it. The music was moving through me so I was able to get visions and experiences. At the ends of some pieces I would feel it and get chills. There was a certain part when the horns came in and it got a little dark. And I was like, okay, I can relate to that. The music was connecting to my spirit, and it brightened up and moved into a feeling of victory.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra blends the spirit of Chinese music with the power of a Western orchestra. Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass form the base against which the sounds of ancient Chinese instruments—like the two-stringed erhu and the plucked pipa.—really shine.
Mr. King was impressed by the unity and power of the orchestra.
“There’s how many people up there? 30, 40 people—to make one sound. And that amazed me. And the vocals of the women who sang—superb. That met and exceeded my expectation. I enjoyed watching just how everyone is so syncopated. Everyone’s on point.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is home to several accomplished vocalists who also perform in Shen Yun’s performances during its touring season. Soprano Haolan Geng performed “A Song For You,” Soprano Min Jiang performed “This Music is Truth,” both Shen Yun originals.
Mr. King liked that the performance ended on a humorous note when conductor William Kuo played a little trick on the audience at the third encore by conjuring a musical score, and playing the very last bar of the concert.
“That was fun. I was completely entertained, totally satisfied. It was seamless.” said Mr. King.
“This is definitely something you want to come and see, this is a great experience,” he said. “And I want to know when the next one is, so I can come again!
Reporting by Sun Can and Kati Vereshaka
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is on a seven-city tour with performances in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Toronto, Chicago, Miami, and Sarasota, through Oct. 27. For more information, visit www.shenyun.com/symphony