BOSTON—The home of Boston Symphony Orchestra was host to a rare event on Wednesday evening: a one-night stop by the orchestra that normally accompanies Shen Yun Performing Arts classical Chinese dance company.
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is now touring on its own to just seven cities before the official Shen Yun Performing Arts season gets underway.
Martin and Kalyn Pavlinic were lucky enough to be in the audience. Mr. Pavlinic is a rock musician as well as a graphic designer and marketing coordinator.
“I thought it was great,” said Mr. Pavlinic. “I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was an interesting range of pieces. I thought the singing was especially pretty wonderful it was not what I was expecting—it was not a style of singing I have heard before.
What makes Shen Yun unique is that it revives ancient Chinese themes and musical traditions interpreted by a mainly Western orchestra complemented by classical Chinese instruments. The sounds and arrangements are entirely unique. It also includes three soloists singing in Chinese but in bel canto opera style.
“I just thought it was wonderful. I would like to learn more about some of these composers. … [It] was great,” said. Mr. Pavlinic.
Ms. Pavlinic enjoyed the strings in particular. “I study violin so I like all the classical strings and I just found it phenomenal. It was the most delightful musical evening of my life.”
“It was just fabulous. I love how afflicting it was. I loved the range. … It was just terrific,” she continued.
Ms. Pavlinic, a financial adviser by profession, said she would absolutely recommend the performance to her friends. “Oh absolutely! It was inspirational.”
Kate Inman, who attended with the Pavlinics, was also taken by the music.
“I felt like a lot of the Chinese pieces … there was a very landscaped sort of atmosphere that was created and there was a narrative that you could feel. … Not even reading what was in the [program] you could feel the story,” she said.
“So it was very different than the more traditional classical pieces that were playing,” said Ms. Inman referring to the masterpieces by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky that were also performed.
Yolanda Kp, the forth in the group remarked on the how Shen Yun’s works bring out ancient themes such as Chinese cosmology.
“I liked very much the aspect of going back into history,” she said, and continued:
“Actually I see that somehow it’s a traditionalist movement that they want to present … like asking what is the meaning of life.”
Reporting by Tim Pi and Cindy Drukier
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