Distinguished Canadian Historian: ‘I Thoroughly Enjoyed It’

Distinguished Canadian Historian: ‘I Thoroughly Enjoyed It’
Prof. Michael Herren, historian and distinguished research professor emeritus at York University, and Prof. Shirley Ann Brown enjoyed Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra's performance at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, on Oct. 5, 2018. Prof. Herren is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Royal Irish Academy. (NTD Television)
October 8, 2018

After weeks of touring Asia, the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra has now returned to North America with a Toronto performance.

The orchestra played its original compositions and timeless masterpieces of classical music at Roy Thomson Hall on Oct. 5—to three standing ovations and two encores.

“I think this is quite wonderful. It is very, very suited to a modern audience,” said Shirley Ann Brown, professor, School of the Arts, York University. “I was very impressed particularly with the new compositions.”

“We are regular opera listeners. We go to concerts [pretty frequently]. The sound was wonderful. The orchestra is truly dynamic, and one can only admire the incredible discipline that it has,” said Michael Herren, distinguished research professor emeritus, York University. “And the energy that it puts into every piece that I heard—it was beautifully conducted and every section had virtuosos. I wouldn’t want to single any of them out but they were all beautiful. As a musical performance, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

They were also thrilled with the erhu solo. The two-stringed, 4,000-year-old erhu is nestled into the orchestra right beside the violins.

“It comes closest to the human voice I think. And I’m an amateur singer so that’s something I appreciate,” said Herren. “You can feel somebody singing when you listen to the erhu.”

“The sound [of erhu] is ethereal. And then when I read there were only two strings on each instrument that’s where my piano playing came in, you know, lots of strings in the piano, and when I realized that there are just two strings and all that range of melody and range of sound, there is no sound like it. It’s quite incredible,” Shirley Ann Brown added.

NTD News, Toronto, Canada