NEW YORK—Prof. Marjanca Kuscer travelled more than 4,000 miles to see her daughter perform in Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Oct. 5.
Ms. Kuscer’s daughter, Lana Kuscer, is a solo flautist with the orchestra, which made its debut last year at Carnegie Hall.
Until then the orchestra had been accompanying Shen Yun Performing Arts, whose classical Chinese dance performances have been watched by millions of people in 30 countries.
“I’m excited hearing my daughter,” said Ms. Kuscer.
Lana Kuscer has performed extensively as a soloist throughout Europe. She has performed in the U.K. Houses of Parliament and for members of the U.K. royal family. She has won a number of awards over the years.
Prof. Kuscer said she was excited to see how well the orchestra connected to the audience. The performance received a standing ovation and four encores followed.
Ms. Kuscer is a professor of psychology at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.
“I feel relaxed and full of energy,” she said after the performance. “The musicians are really good musicians.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra features nearly a dozen of its own original compositions as well as masterpieces by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
The orchestra is unique in that it has both classical Chinese and classical western instruments as its permanent members. The performance features over 100 musicians and four conductors.
The orchestra has achieved what many thought of as impossible: making a perfect blend of Chinese and Western musical styles.
“You can listen to Asian or Chinese or Indian music and on the other hand Western classical music, but here it is put together,” said Ms. Kuscer.
“Music really has a connection with the feeling, especially with the combination of East and West, because I’ve never heard this before.”
Inspiration for the original works by Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is drawn from China’s 5,000-year-old culture.
The company says it inspires to achieve “an experience so profoundly beautiful and joyful that it evokes a sense of the heavens.”
David Hershey’s daughter also plays in the symphony orchestra—she is an upright bassist.
Hershey drove up from Philadelphia to watch her. He said the performance was spectacular: “The music was crisp, and it was just energetic.”
The sopranos and the tenor were “amazing, just beautiful, beautiful voices,” he said.
Part of the performance are solo performances by Shen Yun’s singers.
The singers use bel canto technique to sing Chinese text, while retaining the proper Chinese diction. All of the songs are original works by Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra.
Hershey has enjoyed music, and particularly opera, since a young age. He grew up in the Bronx and took in many performances at Lincoln Center.
Reporting by Alec Wang, Amelia Pang, Jasper Fakkert, and Sarah Matheson
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