Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra Arrives in California

October 18, 2013 Updated: November 14, 2017

COSTA MESA, Calif.—On the last leg of its seven-city tour across the United States, Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra will make its California debut Oct. 18 and 19 at the opulent Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.

Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is part of the internationally and critically acclaimed Shen Yun Performing Arts and has performed as an accompaniment to the New York-based classical Chinese dance company. For the first time it is touring along the West Coast solely as an orchestra.

For years, audience members of Shen Yun Performing Arts from around the world have been enchanted by the orchestra.

Donald Neuen, who is a distinguished professor of conducting and director of choral activities at the University of California, Los Angeles, was captivated when he first heard the orchestra as part of Shen Yun Performing Arts in 2010.

“The orchestra, the Western instruments and the Asian instruments combining is superb! The music, the orchestra, the conductor must be very, very, very good! Totally professional. It means a lot to us,” he said.

Mr. Constantin Trinks, a renowned German conductor who has worked with orchestras throughout Europe, was intrigued and delighted by Shen Yun’s orchestra when he watched Shen Yun Performing Arts in Frankfurt last May.

“The orchestra was unique; the technique was concise, and the conductor was first class,” he said. “The allure and attraction to this orchestra stems from the fact that its musicians and instruments blend Western and Eastern 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.

“The orchestra melds the spirit, beauty, and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision, power, and grandeur of the Western symphony orchestra,” its website says. 

With the ability to combine the best musical qualities from the East and West, Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra draws on 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture with its various dynasties and diverse ethnic folk tunes.

The orchestra is able to evoke a wide range of emotions. From feelings of awe in the piece “Creation,” to the lively, highly energetic piece “Khata for the Gods,” audience members of the orchestra’s 2013 tour have said that they could picture the legends being told through the music.

Solo vocal pieces are an important part of Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra. Acclaimed sopranos and tenors sing using the bel canto style while maintaining proper Chinese diction. “Their ability to do this is unparalleled,” according to its website.

The vocalists sing songs originally written for each piece, and the lyrics contain deep reflections about life and universal values.

Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra will be in Southern California for two days only, Oct. 18 and 19.

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