Reporter Praises ‘Excellent’ Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra

October 4, 2015

TORONTO—Award-winning reporter Adu Raudkivi used just one word to describe the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra after seeing it perform at Roy Thomson Hall on Oct. 3.

“Excellent!” he said after the performance, adding that he wanted it to go on longer—and he wasn’t the only one. The orchestra played to a full house and received tumultuous applause at the end of the concert, to the point that the musicians returned to play two encores.

“I wanted it to go on at least another two hours,” said Mr. Raudkivi, a reporter with Estonian Life in Toronto who won a Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of “Long Struggles for Human Rights and Equality” from the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.

Shen Yun’s combination of Chinese and Western instruments is unique in the world of classical music and is something that has been thrilling audiences since the orchestra began touring three years ago.

“Great, great melding of the Chinese with the Western music, just a perfect blending,” said Mr. Raudkivi.

“I loved it. I especially loved the violin soloist [Fiona Zheng]. She was excellent. I have heard a lot of violin solos, and she was excellent.”

Among the Chinese instruments in the orchestra are the pipa and erhu—the latter with a history of 4,000 years and a sweet but mournful sound that seems to tug at people’s emotions.

“I liked the Chinese Erhu, it was excellent,” said Mr. Raudkivi, adding that he was also impressed with the prowess of conductor Milen Nachev.

The New York-based Shen Yun began its 2015 North American tour in Toronto and will go on to play several venues in the United States, including Carnegie Hall in New York, where it made its debut in 2012.

A smaller version of the orchestra tours annually with Shen Yun Performing Arts, whose mission is to revive China’s ancient traditional culture and bring it to audiences around the world.

According to the Shen Yun website, the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra was formed due to “requests from audience members who had attended Shen Yun Performing Arts performances and found themselves enchanted by the music. They expressed a wish that, one day, it could be performed in concert.”

Reporting by Dongyu Teng

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