BOSTON—Audience members drank in the sounds of ancient Chinese instruments blended harmoniously with a Western symphony orchestra at the Boston Symphony Hall Saturday afternoon.
The performance put on by Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra had attorneys Susan Crane and Mark Roberts enchanted, having never heard such a blend of East and West before.
Ms. Crane, who owns her own environmental law firm, said, “It’s just not what you normally hear. You usually hear a performance and it’s one composer. This was just very, very different—Western music and clearly Chinese music, and immediately you could hear Asian sounds that were not traditional Western classical music.”
Having attended many Symphony Hall shows featuring other performers, Ms. Crane noted that the Shen Yun orchestra “was very diverse, the sounds were absolutely exquisite, the performers were outstanding, the conductors were very lively and animated.”
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s third season kicked off this weekend with the Boston performance. The repertoire includes originals from Shen Yun Performing Arts and classics by Berlioz, Dvorak, and more.
To Ms. Crane, each musical segment was rich with stories that she could visualize through reading the program book.
“It was actually fascinating to read the stories behind each of the music [pieces] so that I could picture the lanterns being hung by the girls, [etc.] It was a great, great write up in this program book.”
Ms. Crane attended the show with a friend, Mark Roberts, an environmental attorney for the non-profit Environmental Investigation Agency. He thought the orchestra brought Chinese culture to those who normally wouldn’t venture into it.
Classical Chinese instruments, such as the erhu, a two-stringed fiddle with a range of sound, and the pipa, which some call the Chinese lute, are incorporated into a full Western symphony of about 100 musicians.
Ms. Crane spoke of the overall performance as, “magnificent, just beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.”
Mr. Roberts agreed with Ms. Crane and added, “It was fabulous, it was great.”
“We loved it,” said Ms. Crane.
Reporting by Stacy Chen and Shannon Liao
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is on a seven-city tour with performances in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Toronto, Chicago, Miami, and Sarasota, from Oct. 4–27. For more information, visit Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra