This makes the dizi much more prominent in the Chinese orchestra than the concert flute is in the symphony orchestra. Early compositions rarely used the dizi as accompaniment, although this is no longer the case, especially with xindi becoming an increasingly important instrument. Nevertheless, the dizi is very distinctive when it plays, and the ability of this instrument (as well as the suona and guan sections) to blend in with the Chinese orchestra takes great skill and musical awareness. As an example of a well-balanced Chinese orchestra playing a piece that utilizes the dizi (and indeed the suona and guan) in a modern and really beautiful way, here’s a recently composed piece (Admiral of the Seven Seas 海上第一人 by Luo Wei Lun 罗伟伦) performed by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (I think they’re sight-reading or under-rehearsed here.
What sounds good for dizi isn’t the same as for concert flute. Of course, the basics are the same: intonation, articulation, good control of volume, evenness. But the steady, pure sounds of a concert flute aren’t viewed favorably in Chinese orchestral music, which is the reason why the dizi used by the world’s leading Chinese orchestras still do not use any key system, choosing to produce chromatic notes by covering half holes instead. Sliding from one note the another, tapping a note above or below quickly. In the video above, you can hear the dizi produce the sound similar to gulls calling in the sea, which (I don’t think?) is possible on a concert flute. There is a Chinese flavor to the instrument that the concert flute cannot capture, even in Chinese pieces written for symphony orchestras. The trade-off is in intonation: playing in different keys can be partially overcome by using different dizi (for bangdi for example, they commonly come in F,G and A), but heavy chromaticism is tough for any of the dizi, and especially so for amateurs.