SAN FRANCISCO—Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra’s debut performance at San Francisco’s Davies Hall was well received, with a long standing ovation and thunderous applause throughout the performance.
“I loved the concert. It was just simply wonderful,” said Lee Foster, executive director of Fremont Symphony Orchestra. “Beautiful, beautiful concert.”
“It was lovely. We are so appreciative that we were invited this evening; it was just beautiful,” she said.
Two years ago, Ms. Foster attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts dance and music production, and this year she decided to bring her father along to experience the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra.
Shen Yun Performing Arts has four equally large performing arts companies that simultaneously travel the world presenting classical Chinese dance with live orchestral accompaniment.
Tonight’s performance was part of a seven-city North American tour presenting Shen Yun’s Symphony Orchestra alone.
Ms. Foster did not know what to expect, but along with the electric crowd, Ms. Foster was impressed.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect, because the last time of course it was in the other place. I knew at Davies Symphony Hall it would be different; it would not be dancing, it would strictly be music,” said Ms. Foster.
“I thought that the repertoire was wonderful.”
Ms. Foster appreciated the sheer size of the orchestra and how Shen Yun introduced the classical Chinese instruments such as the pipa and two-stringed erhu into the performance.
“It was a such a very large orchestra, and lovely. I counted like 30 violins; there must have been a hundred people on stage, I think there were 30 violins, and almost 30 cellos and basses and then the entire brass and woodwind section, and then you have the Chinese instruments, the pipa and the erhu. So it was lovely. And I love the pipa; it is just so beautiful,” said Ms. Foster.
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra offers not only original music scores, but also presents works from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, solo instrumentalists, feature vocalists, and four conductors.
Ms. Foster enjoyed the variety offered by Shen Yun, which made for a wonderful evening.
“I enjoyed having multiple conductors. It was more varied,” she said, and “to have the lovely Chinese songs about spirituality in combination with the Beethoven, and the trumpet piece was so much fun; I loved that. And so it was just a wonderful evening.
“I thought the blending was fantastic,” said Ms. Foster when commenting on the blending of classical Chinese instruments with Western composition, and “I thought it was terrific; some of the arrangements were very interesting.”
Ms. Foster’s father, T. Jack Foster, a retired real estate developer, greatly enjoyed the performance.
“I loved the whole thing so much. It is just so beautifully done, beautifully put together,” Mr. Foster said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Abraham Thompson
Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra has finished its seven-city tour with performances in Washington, D.C.; New York; Boston; Houston; Dallas; Los Angeles; and San Francisco. Hear the orchestra as part of Shen Yun Performing Arts, Jan 4–12, 2014, in San Francisco. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts