SAN FRANCISCO—Russian radio show host Olga Chervyaková was delighted and touched by Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s performance Tuesday evening at Davies Hall in San Francisco.
“I absolutely love it,” said Ms. Chervyaková.
“What I saw is they did better than anything else, and I will be talking about them and their performance at my show,” said Ms. Chervyaková, whose radio show can be found on KSJO 92.3 FM or at olga-show.com.
Ms. Chervyaková is a fan of Shen Yun, the classical Chinese dance performance that the orchestra normally accompanies. The orchestra’s seven-city tour, which ended on Tuesday, was the first time the orchestra had played on its own on the West Coast.
“I will be telling all of my friends and followers come on over, you missed [out]. And I know some of them were here, too, so they were pleased that I invited them here,” she said.
The concert included pieces inspired by Chinese culture composed specifically for the orchestra, as well as some works from the Western repertoire.
“It was very nice; I could see Chinese folklore music, I saw Chinese traditional music, I also saw European music, including Eugene Onegin from Tchaikovsky from Russia, which is my music, basically—that’s what I grew up with,” said Ms. Chervyaková. “So it is a wide variety of classical music where East meet the West, I guess, that’s what I would call it.”
Ms. Chervyaková found herself moved by the music, despite it being new to her.
“I didn’t grow up with this, so for me it was nice to hear something different. I did not know how to react, but definitely on some of the parts I had tears, and some of the parts of the music I had hope for a better future,” she said.
“I had tears in my eyes when I listened to ‘Divine Compassion’ [the final piece of the concert]. So it was very touching for me.”
“I would say it’s more the emotional level and also the spiritual level,” she said, explaining what about it touched her. “So it was very lovely.”
Cultural interchange is important to Ms. Chervyaková, and she sees Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra as facilitating that in a special way.
“I think it’s important when somebody’s stepping forward and made that connection. I would say, bringing countries together, bringing cultures together, and learning the best from all of the cultures. Because I saw some of the music I wouldn’t hear otherwise,” she said.
One difference at a Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra concert is that there are different conductors during the performance.
“That was very lovely to see—four conductors of all ranges, different countries presented and helped the Shen Yun Orchestra perform at their best,” she said. The conductors hail from various countries, including Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and Bulgaria.
“Hard-working group, as always, and very disciplined, very hard-working, talented artists,” she said.
The radio host said she would recommend that people take the chance to see the performance when it comes to town, because it doesn’t come around very often.
“Once a year, and for me [I’d say] come back if you have been here because they always bring new material, and if you never have been here, try them out. Because a Shen Yun performance and orchestra are always different,” she said.
“Throughout the entire performance, on and off, I had tears in my eyes,” said Ms. Chervyaková.
“It was a wonderful performance. It touched my soul.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Ben Bendig
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra has finished its seven-city tour with performances in Washington, D.C.; New York; Boston; Houston; Dallas; Los Angeles; and San Francisco. Hear the orchestra as part of Shen Yun Performing Arts, Jan 4–12, 2014, in San Francisco. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts