FORT WORTH, Texas.—The former president and CEO of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association, Ann Koonsman, was blown away by the original compositions she heard from Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Jan. 6.
She attended the performance with her husband Ron Koonsman, a real estate investor and owner of BARCO Properties, Monday evening.
Mrs. Koonsman, who retired in 2011, had been at the head of the orchestra since 1980 and was responsible for its transition into Bass Performance Hall. She also founded locally the Concerts in the Garden Summer Music Festival in 1990.
Having spent years in an artistic leadership position while expanding the local Fort Worth Symphony, Mrs. Koonsman paid special attention to Shen Yun’s orchestra, and she was thoroughly pleased.
Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique, blending traditional Chinese instruments, like the pipa and erhu, into a full Western symphony orchestra. Through music and dance, the New York-based Shen Yun seeks to revive 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
“Much of it has that same sound that we learn to recognize in the music of China,” Mrs. Koonsman said, marveling at the Shen Yun orchestra. “Oh, I love it.”
“I think the music’s very serene. It’s just relaxing to me to sit and listen to it,” she added.
Mrs. Koonsman was particularly impressed by erhu virtuoso Qi Xiaochun, who played a solo during the performance. The erhu, a two-stringed instrument, has a history of nearly 4,000 years.
“I think it’s very compelling. And the colors—the artistry—are just glorious,” Mrs. Koonsman said.
She really enjoyed the incorporation of drums in one particular dance, which depicted a great Tang Dynasty battlefield, with the piece’s male dancers powerfully playing the drums.
“Oh my gosh, they’re awesome!” Mrs. Koonsman said. “And we were just discussing [how] the girls are so beautiful, and their dresses are just gorgeous. Just beautiful.”
Reporting by Amy Hu and Catherine Yang
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.