Musicians Praise Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s Blend of Eastern and Western Instruments

October 24, 2016 12:30 am Last Updated: October 24, 2016 12:57 am

TORONTO—Musicians Wendy Limbertie and Maggie Moser thoroughly enjoyed the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra after seeing its afternoon performance at the Roy Thomson Hall on Oct. 23.

“It was wonderful to see such a high level of playing. I was very impressed with the strings. Most of the brass and the winds are Western-trained; [they played] very beautifully and very exact,” said Ms. Limbertie.

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra, which started its 2016 tour in September in Asia and is now touring in North America, boasts a unique mixture of classical Western instruments and traditional Chinese instruments.

Currently the development officer at Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Limbertie has had a long career as a professional horn player, playing with a number of orchestras and opera companies in the Netherlands and Canada.

She said she particularly enjoyed the closing piece “Divine Compassion” as it was relatively long and allowed her to get a feel of “the actual Chinese music and its tradition.”

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s performances feature classical pieces by masters of Western classical music, as well as original compositions of Chinese music.

Ms. Moser, who has been a professional oboist for over 30 years and is also a music teacher, was impressed that the orchestra had “a large, full symphony orchestra.”

“So often because of budgets, the orchestras have to cut, and so it was really wonderful to see a really full-size orchestra, because it produces a different sound. I was enjoying that,” she said.

She said she enjoyed the integration of classical Chinese instruments such as the erhu and pipa into the orchestra, blending the sounds of Western and Eastern music.

“That produced the classical sound but also married the two traditional, cultural sounds. They were very good.”

Ms. Moser also had high praise for the conductor, saying that he had a “great rapport with the audience and with the musicians.” She noted that the musicians and the conductor were “very sensitive to each other and the soloists, especially because having played those pieces and the orchestra, you know that some of those sections are very hard to come down in volume so that you’re not overpowering the soloist, and they were very sensitive to that.”

Ms. Moser said she appreciated Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra bringing the Chinese culture to Toronto and blending traditional Chinese music with Western music. “That was really nice to see.”

Reporting by Dongyu Teng and Omid Ghoreishi

New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. For information about the October performances, visit: ShenYun.com/Symphony

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.