Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s Blend of East and West Enchants Audience

October 5, 2013 Updated: November 14, 2017

NEW YORK—Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra brought the unique sound of the East and West combined to Carnegie Hall Saturday.

The orchestra is part of Shen Yun Performing Arts, known for its internationally acclaimed classical Chinese dance performances.

In its own distinctive repertoire Shen Yun draws inspiration from China’s 5,000-year-old culture. The nearly dozen original compositions performed feature both classical Chinese and classical Western instruments.

The orchestra feature its own repertoire as well as masterpieces by western composers such as Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

“The Asian instruments were the most beautiful … It was really nice. I loved the combination of music,” said Francisco Cusco, media licensing manager for Latin America at Bloomberg L.P.

“It’s nice to hear those being used in conjunction with [Western] traditional instruments,” said Mr. Cusco. “It was great, I loved it.”

The traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies in Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra, while a Western symphonic orchestra plays the foundation. Some of the classical Chinese instruments included in the performance are the two-stringed erhu and the pipa.

For Mr. Cusco, a seasoned symphony orchestra goer, it was his first performance at Carnegie Hall’s 2013–2014 season, which started this week after a worker’s strike hiccup.

The Whole Composition

Physician Jiri Vitek saw Shen Yun Performing Arts perform in January at Lincoln Center, and his friend suggested he attend the Symphony Orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall.

Vitek and his friend were sitting in the balcony, so they could see the orchestra from above. He said he enjoyed watching the different conductors lead the orchestra, each with their own particular music style.

“Then the singing—and it was the whole composition, it was very beautiful, very nice,” he said.

Reporting by Amelia Pang, Jasper Fakkert, and Sarah Matheson

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