COSTA MESA, Calif.—Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra has arrived in Southern California, and the locals in the audience at Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, on Oct. 18, were enthralled by the musical experience.
For years audiences around the world have lauded Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra, which performed as an accompaniment to the renowned classical Chinese dance company and is now on a seven-city tour across the United States performing solely as an orchestra.
Alex Bradley, a local musician who watched the performance with his family, said Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra was phenomenal.
“It was beautiful. It was well orchestrated. The original compositions were beautiful,” he said, adding that he enjoyed the blend of traditional Chinese instruments and classical Western instruments.
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is one-of-a-kind; it is the only orchestra in the world that combines classical Western and Chinese instruments as its permanent members, according to its website.
“As someone who composes music, it’s something that I personally strive to do—to blend different cultures and different music and try to use different emotions,” he said.
Mr. Bradley said he appreciated the array of emotions displayed from the music and that he felt excited. He described the music as “pulse-driven. It’s very uplifting and it does a great job of showcasing.”
Two traditional Chinese instruments featured in the performance are the two-stringed erhu, which is known for its wide range of sounds and emotive expression, and the pipa, known as the “king” of Chinese instruments.
He described his feelings while listening to the piece “Creation,” one of many original pieces from Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra:
“When the brass was coming in and kind of pushing down and fighting against the strings and woodwinds, it was very interesting to feel a little anxious because you want the good to triumph over the evil. It’s very, very emotional,” he said.
He described the interaction between instruments as a conversation.
“It was very conversational at times. What I mean is the woodwinds and strings did a very good job complementing each other and playing with each other while the brass and the percussion section did a great job of supporting when they needed to,” he said.
Mr. Bradley said he would recommend the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra to his friends.
“Definitely. It’s a wonderful, modern twist on traditional music, and it’s beautiful to see the blend of Eastern and Western music.”
He parting message to the musicians and singers: “It was phenomenal and keep playing!”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra will be in Southern California for one more day on Oct. 19 before performing in San Francisco Oct. 22.
With reporting by NTD Television and Albert Roman
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