Shen Yun’s Blend of Instruments ‘A Credit Beyond Measure’ Says Musician

October 10, 2013 Updated: November 17, 2017

BOSTON—Classical guitarist Bart Jordan was astonished by the masterful blending of classical Western instruments and traditional Chinese instruments in the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra after he listened to the orchestra’s concert at Boston Symphony Hall on Wednesday evening.

“I love it. I think it is one of the most precise, and one of the most well-coordinated orchestras I have heard,” Mr. Jordan said.

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra is part of the internationally acclaimed Shen Yun Performing Arts, a New York-based classical Chinese dance company. Up until recently, the orchestra could only be heard as an accompaniment to the dance performances. This year, the orchestra is on a seven-city tour across the United States, putting on 10 concerts altogether.

According to Shen Yun’s website, there is no orchestra like Shen Yun’s. The orchestra is the only one in the world that combines both classical Western and Chinese instruments as its permanent members.

In the orchestra, ancient Chinese instruments such as the two-stringed erhu (the Chinese violin) and the plucked pipa (the Chinese lute) are incorporated alongside classical Western symphonic instruments such as brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion.

Mr. Jordan said blending the two styles of instruments is no easy feat, adding, as an example, that the two styles of instruments require different kinds of tuning.

“The fact that they [Shen Yun] have been so successful with it, giving off a reflection of East within the West, and the West within the East, almost like a yin-yang, is absolutely a credit beyond measure.”

In other words, Shen Yun has “found the way to marry the [two styles], and successfully,” Mr. Jordan said.

Reporting by NTD Television

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