BOSTON—It was an afternoon of appreciation for J’Aime Roemer, attending the opening performance of Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra 2014 tour in Boston Symphony Hall this Saturday.
“I loved the performance,” she said, following with an insight of a skilled musician.
Roemer is a linguist researcher, currently working on her second master’s degree at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. But she also studied music theory and is a pianist with 12 years of practice.
Though accustomed to Western musical tradition, she was fond of Shen Yun’s unique blend of Western and Chinese instruments, calling it an “interesting fusion.”
“It was a beautiful merge and really sparked imagination,” Roemer said.
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra presents a selection of Western classics, but its distinctive feature lies in its own compositions, often inspired by musical motifs preserved from ancient China.
Roemer said some of the Eastern compositions even beat her feel for the classics she’s used to. “It’s very passionate,” she said. “In a way that I feel I can understand and embrace.”
She was especially impressed by the “Sorrow Melts Away,” Shen Yun’s own composition performed by an erhu trio.
“I could literally feel the instruments portraying the joy and the happiness of new-found life experiences,” Roemer said.
Erhu is a Chinese two-string instrument with an emotive voice-like sound and a history of 4,000 years. Shen Yun boasts a world-class lineup of erhu virtuosos.
Roemer also appreciated tenor Tian Ge’s interpretation of Nessun Dorma, a grand aria from the final act of Puccini’s opera Turandot. “Nessun Dorma is actually one of my favorites,” she said.
Roemer said Shen Yun may have a “rather large” impact on today’s classical music, especially pieces like “The Warriors of Wudang Mountain,” another Shen Yun’s composition, where instruments are used to portray birds in way that “brings in nature to a performance” and “makes people reflect something outside the concert hall,” as she put it.
“I think it will enable people to appreciate a type of orchestration that they were perhaps unfamiliar with before,” Roemer said.
She would encourage friends to attend Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra performances to “broaden their horizons” in a musical genre they would otherwise miss out on.
Reporting by Stacy Chen and Petr Svab
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is on a seven-city tour with performances in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Toronto, Chicago, Miami, and Sarasota, from Oct. 4–27. For more information, visit Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra