NEW YORK—Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra violin virtuoso Fiona Zheng plays with the philosophy of keeping an honest, open heart.
“The best music, I think, isn’t just about technique and precision; the best music can communicate a performer’s feelings and touch a listener’s heart,” Ms. Zheng said in an in-depth Q&A available on Shen Yun’s website.
Of course, technique was also paramount in Ms. Zheng’s solo at Carnegie Hall Saturday afternoon, performing Pablo de Sarasate’s famed “Gypsy Airs,” which he wrote especially to show off a violinist’s skill. But the sincerity of heart Ms. Zheng spoke of was what really touched the audience.
“When the violinist came out, the emotion that she showed in playing the violin was like she was one with it, truly one with it,” said Ms. Grace Blank after seeing the matinee performance. “She was singing, she was suffering, she was pleading, and it was just one, just one with her soul.”
“She was like an angel that came down, and she was the voice of every instrument, of every child, of every elderly,” Ms. Blank said, moved. “Really and truly, I’m honored to be here.”
As soon as Ms. Blank left the concert hall, she sent a text to her friend: “It is so beautiful I have been pushed to tears.”
Ms. Blank frequents musical performances—symphonies, concerts, operas—and has never felt something as tear-evoking as Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra, she explained in an interview after the performance.
“I’m at a loss for words. The professionalism, the skill, is beyond, beyond,” Ms. Blank said. “It’s beyond words. Phenomenal, just phenomenal.”
Ms. Blank had read much about the unique orchestra and expected a phenomenal performance, but nothing could have prepared for what she heard.
“They’re singing,” Ms. Blank said of the instruments. “You think they’re singing–and it is, they bring out, almost a voice.”
The use of traditional Chinese instruments like the 4,000-year-old erhu was evocative, but having played the violin herself, Ms. Blank had especially paid attention to Ms. Zheng’s “Gypsy Airs.”
“I have so much appreciation for this. It’s the best, best, best place I’ve been in … all of my life,” Ms. Blank said. “I’m very grateful, very very grateful.”
On Oct. 11, the orchestra performs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Reporting by NTD Television and Catherine Yang
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. Shen Yun Performing Arts begins its 2016 world tour on Dec. 22, 2015.
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.