FRANKFURT—Mr. Constantin Trinks, renowned German conductor who debuts with many orchestras in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Japan, took time out of his busy schedule to attend the Sunday night New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company show at the Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle.
For Mr. Trinks, in wanting to learn about different types of orchestras, it was important for him to listen to the Shen Yun Orchestra—especially once he heard from the company that “Shen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra, with its all-original compositions, blends East and West like no other.”
For someone such as Mr. Trinks who wants to excel as a conductor, seeing Shen Yun was an opportunity to hear “the distinctly Chinese sound of ancient instruments like the erhu and the pipa, [which] are bathed in a rich sea of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass,” states the Shen Yun website. “The result—two great classical music traditions producing one fresh, unexpected sound.”
“I’m favorably impressed. This is the first time I was exposed to an orchestra that includes Western and Chinese instruments, and whose musicians are of both backgrounds,” he said.
“To be honest—and to give you a good description of what I thought I heard—I must absorb the sounds in my mind for a few days,” said Mr. Trinks. “It is most amazing that this show has live music—and the compositions were written by the group.”
“The orchestra was unique,” he added. “The technique was concise, and the conductor was first class. The allure and attraction to this orchestra stems from the fact that its musicians and instruments blend Western and Eastern instruments.”
“Every year, Shen Yun unveils an entirely new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores,” states Shen Yun. “At the core of Shen Yun’s performances is classical Chinese dance with China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the evening.”
“I must admit that the combination was foreign to what my ears are accustomed to, but they harmonized beautifully,” said Mr. Trinks. “ There was not a single thing that would make me say that these tones are out of tune. This is a marvelous mix—completely new to my ears. But one can only say that they harmonize wonderfully.”
“Tenors, sopranos and other award-winning vocalists perform piano-accompanied solos, along with a regular favorite—the stirring melodies of the two-stringed erhu, also known as the Chinese violin,” states Shen Yun.
“I must repeat again that I need to let everything I have heard sink in because of the novelty of it,” said Mr. Trinks. “I definitely am inspired. But I don’t know yet how it will influence my work.”
“I have heard the music in its original form, which impressed me deeply,” he added.
Although Shen Yun is comprised of award-winning dance and vocal artists, its orchestra is comprised of world-renowned musicians, and it stages performances around the world, the show cannot be seen in China itself.
“After more than 60 years of communist rule in China, and especially after the Cultural Revolution, Chinese traditional culture has been all but completely demolished [in China],” according to Shen Yun.
Mr. Trinks concluded with a message for others: “I want to tell the world, but especially China, that it is important that an organization such as the Shen Yun exists because it has a mission for the world’s people.”
With reporting by NTD Television
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.