SARASOTA, Fla.—Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra graced the stage one last time with a performance in the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Monday evening, drawing standing ovations and enthusiastic applause from the Sarasota audience.
Ron Casados, a musician working with the local radio station, was one of the audience members touched by the orchestra’s masterful blending of traditional Chinese instruments in a Western orchestra.
“It blended seamlessly and harmoniously,” Mr. Casados said about the orchestra’s combination of classical music of East and West. “Very nice blending of cultures.” Mr. Casados also praised the musicians and said the two conductors were terrific.
This year, the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra featured conductors Milen Nachev, formerly chief conductor and artistic director of several major orchestras in Eastern Europe; and William Kuo, who is trained in Western and Chinese music and has conducted music of a broad range of styles from both the Western and Chinese traditions.
All Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra artists are from Shen Yun Performing Arts’ four touring companies, which travel the globe each year presenting classical Chinese dance and music.
The orchestra performs original Chinese compositions, as well as classical Western masterpieces. According to the New York-based company’s website, all Shen Yun’s original compositions draw upon five millennia of Chinese culture and legends.
“Traditional Chinese music emphasizes the expression of inner feelings—the ancients always used musical instruments to relate their states of mind,” explains the Shen Yun website.
“Western music, meanwhile, focuses on the overall effect of the musical ensemble—and to achieve that, arrangement and harmony are of utmost importance.”
By combining both the Eastern and Western approaches, Shen Yun captures the essence of both East and West, the website says.
Mr. Casados said he enjoyed the orchestra’s energy. “It was wonderful, positive, uplifting,” he said.
Reporting by Sherry Dong
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Shen Yun begins its 2015 world tour on Dec. 26, 2014. For information, visit http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/symphony
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time.