TORONTO—Taking in Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s performance at the Roy Thomson Hall on the afternoon of Oct. 23 was a moving experience for Irene Castella.
Ms. Castella started playing music at a very early age. Born to a mother who was an opera singer in Finland, Ms. Castella started playing the piano at 3 and the violin at 6. She later obtained a bachelors of music in violin and had her own studio where she taught violin.
“I loved this concert, especially the violin,” she said, referring to the solo violin performance by Fiona Zheng, who played “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.” She said that piece is a very difficult one, and requires a high level of skill to deliver it like Ms. Zheng did.
“You have to have the skill and the training and the endurance to go through the piece and to keep it musical and not so dogmatic. So the musical part of it came out very well in this one, and I was really moved to tears.”
Ms. Castella, who currently works as a law clerk with a firm in Mississauga, Ont., said she found the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s music very uplifting and that it “changes your mood.”
“I feel very happy, and reflective also, and inspired—inspired to listen to more and to play more.”
She also enjoyed Shen Yun’s unique incorporation of traditional Chinese instruments such as the erhu and pipa into a Western orchestra.
“I loved the [Chinese] instruments … the erhu is so close to the [human] voice. … Just hearing that, it stirs the emotions,” she said.
The performance of the Shen Yun vocalists, who use the bel canto style to sing Chinese lyrics, was also something to marvel at.
“Both of their singing was amazing. Very good technique.”
Poet, writer, and journalist Katarina Kostic, originally from Serbia, said she was quite impressed by the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra. She said she found the performance “very calming,” and could feel Chinese traditional legends and stories portrayed through the music.
“I would like to know more about the Chinese. I didn’t know so much tradition was involved in [the performance]—something very, very impressive.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has a mission to revive China’s divinely inspired culture through classical Chinese dance and music. The orchestra tours with the dance company each year.
Reporting by Dongyu Teng and NTD Television
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. For information about the October performances, visit: ShenYun.com/Symphony
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.