Shen Yun Performing Arts is best known for colorful, extravagant and elegant celebrations of traditional Chinese music and dance that tour the country every year.
But three years ago, Shen Yen premiered its symphony orchestra in a concert at Carnegie Hall. The next year the orchestra went on a seven-city tour. And now it's coming to Sarasota.
The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra will perform Tuesday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
The orchestra is billed as the only one in the world that combines the standard instruments of a Western symphony orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments. Its concerts include performances by three musicians playing the erhu -- the two-stringed, long-necked version of a violin that's common in Chinese music -- plus bel canto singing in Chinese.
The orchestra's repertoire includes both Chinese and European selections -- that premiere concert included works by Vivaldi and Beethoven -- and its musicians come from five continents. According to Shen Yun's website, the orchestra has received 10-minute standing ovations at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in New York.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $35-$100. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear