NEW YORK—After the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra ended its 8 p.m. performance at Carnegie Hall, standing ovations elicited three encores.
The orchestra blends the sounds of ancient Chinese instruments and classical Western instruments, something that caught the attention of professionals in the audience. The orchestra (which has as its parent company Shen Yun Performing Arts of classical Chinese dance fame) features a repertoire of original compositions, solo singers trained in the long-lost traditional technique of bel canto, and a selection of pieces by famous Western composers such as Dvorák and Saint-Saëns.
“It’s a different sound, and it is unique,” said Larry Oster, a businessman from San Diego.
“It was very, very good,” said Len Amadio, a retired Australian arts administrator from Sydney. He was pleased to have heard the performance in Carnegie Hall, which is specially designed to produce a euphonic acoustic effect.
According to the website of Shen Yun, its compositions “draw upon five millennia of culture and legends” and tailor their pieces so that “Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass accentuate the sound of ancient Chinese instruments—like the two-stringed erhu and the plucked pipa.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is based in upstate New York and has been touring for five years. This year it is performing in theater halls across the United States, Canada, Japan, and Taiwan.
“It’s a great thing this hall was saved,” Mr. Amadio said, referring to Carnegie Hall, where the Orchestra has performed multiple years consecutively. “It was nearly demolished in the early 1960s. When Lincoln Center was going to be built, they thought they weren’t going to use this hall anymore.”
Shen Yun’s classical dance show, which debuted in 2006, is now a perennial event at Lincoln Center.
“I think it’s fantastic. I think there is precision and excellence that I didn’t know existed in a non-Boston/Philadelphia/Chicago symphony,” Mr. Oster, who is an avid concertgoer, said.
Describing the style of of conductor Milen Nachev and the demeanor of the orchestra members, Mr. Oster said that Nachev had “a very structured, disciplined approach to the members of the orchestra. The way they stand, the acknowledgement that comes out off the stage.”
Mr. Oster, who comes to New York a few weeks a year, said that Shen Yun was one of the highlights of his visit this year. “A pleasant surprise, really.”
Reporting by Joshua Philipp and Leo Timm
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. For information about the October performances, visit: ShenYun.com/Symphony
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.