TORONTO—Canada’s financial capital had the good fortune to host the acclaimed Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday evening, to the delight of concertgoers and music lovers.
Rick Jaitley, president of Richmond Hill-based insurance firm My Insurance Broker, attended the performance with his wife, who hails from China originally, and their two children.
“The music is out of this world, just phenomenal,” Mr. Jaitley said after the Oct. 16 concert.
The orchestra has performed as part of the renowned Shen Yun Performing Arts classical Chinese dance and music company since 2006. But in 2012, with the encouragement of audiences around the world, the orchestra began performing solo for the first time.
The orchestra has attracted attention and praise for its success in blending classical Western and Chinese instruments together—a feat attempted by many in the past but which only Shen Yun artists have been able to master.
“It’s traditional Chinese and also [with] the Western [instruments]–what a mix,” said Mr. Jaitley. “Beautiful.”
According to the Shen Yun website, the Western instruments act as a foundation in the orchestra while traditional Chinese instruments—such as the two-stringed erhu and plucked pipa—lead the melody. The combination and balance of both styles is a “new frontier in classical music,” reads the website.
The harmonious music had an uplifting effect and buoyed his spirits, Mr. Jaitley said.
“It makes me feel great actually. I’m here with my little family and I’m loving the music and having a great time.”
He was particularly interested in how the performance expressed China’s ancient culture and history through music. Many of the Chinese instruments featured in the orchestra can be dated back to antiquity and played an integral part in Chinese folk music, operas, and imperial banquets throughout the dynasties.
“I’m always intrigued by the culture—such an ancient culture with so much richness to it. I love it,” he said.
Mr. Jaitley also plans to attend Shen Yun Performing Arts—featuring the Shen Yun Orchestra accompanied by classical Chinese dance—slated to perform at Sony Centre in January.
“We are looking forward to that too,” he said.
With reporting by Madalina Hubert and Justina Reichel
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time.
The orchestra’s North American tour runs through Oct. 27. For more information, visit http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/symphony