Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra ‘Absolutely Fantastic,’ Says Musician

October 19, 2013 Updated: December 27, 2013

COSTA MESA, Calif.—Musician Neil Dundas said the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra was was one of the finest he’s ever heard.

“These performers are absolutely fabulous,” said Mr. Dundas.

“I can appreciate an orchestra that is completely in sync,” he added. “Every performer is an absolutely in sync. It’s very difficult to do that.”

The orchestra performed at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Friday evening, the first of two shows this weekend.

Neil, who hails from Scotland, plays the bagpipes and started a bagpipe band. He attended with his wife, Terry, who is in the medical field.

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is normally seen accompanying Shen Yun, a performing arts group that presents classical Chinese dance accompanied by music, digital backdrops, and handmade costumes. This is the first year the orchestra has toured multiple cities.

The orchestra is unique in its blend of instruments from the East and West. The orchestra’s website explains: “It is the world’s only orchestra that combines both classical Western and Chinese instruments as its permanent members. Alongside classical Western symphonic mainstays—like brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion—Shen Yun incorporates ancient Chinese instruments such as the two-stringed erhu and the plucked pipa.

Though he liked them all, the flute players particularly impressed Mr. Dundas.

“I have never heard the girls that play those flutes play them so loud and so together, it’s really incredible,” he said.

In addition to original pieces composed for the orchestra, classical mainstays by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky were also performed.

Mrs. Dundas enjoyed the performance, too.

“I am mesmerized by it,” she said. “I’m really enjoying every single piece.”

Reporting by Sophia Fang and Ben Bendig

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