Conductor and Music Director: Shen Yun Is ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Authentic’


Kerry Stratton, the conductor and music director at Toronto Concert Orchestra, came to Shen Yun performance for the fourth time. He was still very excited after the show, and couldn’t help to tell people his impression about Shen Yun.

“I like the show very much today. Well, the orchestra is just very good this year. It was good last year. The woodwind section is particularly strong this year, and I like the conductor she’s doing a great job, really good. She holds it all together. It’s not an easy task. That clarinet is very strong and there’s passages where they’re exposed, and it’s just the principle wind. Beautiful playing, beautiful,” he said.

Kerry loved “The Monkey King,” and all dances were beautiful and compelling.

“I tell you the number that everybody loves is ‘The Monkey King.’ How can you not love ‘The Monkey King’? And the last one with the drums, what a finale! And the girls with the long sleeves, I love that, that was beautiful too. But it’s all very … you know, so atheletic, and it’s so compelling.”

“Obviously these people, I mean, they just know exactly what they’re doing. The playing is very good, and the coordination is beautiful, because you know, things can go wrong, but they don’t go wrong in this. You know, you’re watching and thinking, oh, God, how many times did they rehearse that to make it so perfect? Especially when the animation, comes down and, the timing is just perfect, and it says three things, the animation, the actual dancer, and the conductor has to bring the orchestra and together. It’s fabulous. They really do a great job!”

Kerry used the word “authentic” to describe the show.

“Well the thing that I think strikes me about is, you can say yes, yes, this is very Chinese, you know, as someone put it. The word that is important is authentic. That’s the important word. What is authentic? And of this has obviously been wonderfully researched.”

Kerry said that Shen Yun music was unique and couldn’t be heard else where.

“Listen to the instruments in the orchestra, the combination of Eastern instruments and Western in the percussion, in the effects that they’ve used, are I’ve never heard anything. You don’t hear that anywhere else, except here. This is the place.”

Danielle Zhu, NTD News, Toronto, contributed to this article.