COSTA MESA, Calif.—On Saturday evening, Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra graced the stage of the Segerstrom Concert Hall for a second captivating performance.
“I appreciated it immensely, and it warmed my heart,” said audience member Elaine Epperson, a clinical psychologist, adding that she loves Chinese music.
Until last year, Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra had been a delightful accompaniment to New York-based classical Chinese dance company Shen Yun Performing Arts. The orchestra made its international debut in a music-only concert at Carnegie Hall in October, 2012.
This year, Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is performing in seven cities across the country.
“While presenting highlights from Shen Yun’s own vast repertoire, the orchestra also performs masterpieces of the Western classical tradition,” says the company’s website. “It is the world’s only orchestra that combines both classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments as its permanent members.”
Ms. Epperson said the more traditional Chinese instruments and music felt very warming and full of compassion, while the Western pieces were very lively and exciting.
“I think they blend beautifully,” she said. “That’s why I came. I thought that the two would be really interesting.”
The orchestral performance also includes unique solo vocal pieces by award-winning artists, who sing in the demanding bel canto technique while retaining proper Chinese diction.
Ms. Epperson said she enjoyed the vocal pieces, and noted that she has been to many symphonies and operas from different cultures. The difficulty in blending each element of the performance and the skill displayed by the artists of Shen Yun were very apparent to her.
“I knew that it wasn’t just beautiful voices. It was a lot more science and training and art,” she said.
According to the company’s website, “Sharing the same mission as Shen Yun Performing Arts, the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra seeks through its concerts to recover lost traditions, nourish positive values, revive a 5,000-year-old culture, and bring beauty and hope to the world.”
Ms. Epperson particularly enjoyed the divine and heavenly themes of the performance, saying she could feel an immense love and compassion from Shen Yun’s artists. She said that it was a far cry from the typical music of today.
“It just seems like noise compared to such art, such beauty and such meaning behind the music,” she said. “I really appreciate that. So meaningful.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Sarah Le
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is on a seven-city tour with performances in Washington, D.C.; New York; Boston; Houston; Dallas; Los Angeles; and San Francisco, from Sept. 27–Oct. 22. For more information, visit Symphony.Shenyun.com