International Conductor Says Shen Yun Music Brings Life

March 2, 2014 Updated: March 5, 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan—“It is so colorful, the dancing is beautiful, and the stories are interesting,” Rodney Winther said after seeing Shen Yun for the second time at National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. He attended Shen Yun the first time three or four years ago in Cincinnati. Mr. Winther is a world-known conductor, who was also Professor of Music at both University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Ithaca College’s School of Music.

Perfect Union of Different Instruments

A conductor with international credentials, Mr. Winther, was keen to hear the music presented in Shen Yun, he said “I think what is interesting is the combination of Western instruments and Eastern instruments. Because you will hear native Chinese instruments that are being played, they have a very particular sound. And then you will hear Western instruments, you know, in contrast with that—it helps to bring the dance alive, I think.”

The Shen Yun Orchestra, is unique for its combination of Chinese and Western instruments, Mr. Winther said “I think with this particular production. The combination of the two kinds of instruments is very appropriate. You don’t normally find that. It is unusual, but it is so refreshing to hear it. I love the native Chinese instruments.”

Music Bringing Life

Mr. Winther made a special point about how life and nature are found in the performance. “A lot of the dances and the music have to do with nature. You know, flowers, the lotus, and the sun shining and the flowers are blossoming, and so forth. And the sounds help to create that image.”

Mr. Winther took note of the use of Chinese instruments. Having closely observed each program, he said “If you have, when the women are dancing, then you have more strings and more Chinese instruments. When the men are dancing, then it is usually more percussion and more brass. For the Mongolian dance, you have more of the brass instruments, and it was much more powerful.”

The Ying and the Yang Within the Instruments

Mr. Winther also took notice of the balance in the performance, he said, “I see the ying and yang is achieved through the use of the instruments—because you have this very quite, very peaceful type of feeling not only the with the dancers, but with the music. Then you have very forceful, the yang.”

Accompanying Mr. Winther was his wife, who commented on the packed theater, saying “We are enjoying it. We are enjoying it very much. We were so excited to come tonight with the big crowd. The house is full.”

Delighted to See Shen Yun and Be a Fan

In the audience was Mr. Chen Rongji, former president of En Chu Kong Hospital, vice president of National Taiwan University Hospital, and president of Lotus Hospice Care Foundation, together with his wife. Greatly fond of Shen Yun, the couple said that they would come for the show yearly. “We would like to be (Shen Yun) fans,” said Mr. Chen in delight.

Mr. Chen said, “Dance, musical performance and the animated backdrop are very awe-inspiring. The performers must have good physical vigor, skills as well as artistry.” Mr. Chen was deeply impressed with a dance program in which Ne Zha conquers the dragon king; Ne Zha displays good martial arts skills onstage, with the help of the modern animated backdrop.

Mrs. Chen described her feeling. She felt deeply fascinated with the wonderful fusion of Western and Eastern music as well as with the flawless combination of the backdrop and performers. The costumes were gorgeous and beautiful. She said, “Such a show is a rarity. Each era has a differing feature; that’s very interesting. Features of each dynasty are presented, very excellent!”

Mr. Chen also praised the singing of the solo artists. Mrs. Chen said the resounding voice was exceptional, particularly the voice of soprano Min Jiang.

“It sounds splendid and the ending part seems everlasting. That can never be easily achieved.” “It’s no easy task!” praised Mr. Chen.

Reporting by Li Yun and Frank Fang, Zhong Yuan and Amy Lien

Read the Chinese articles at: [1] [2]

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.