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Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
July 12
Did You Guess? The erhu has two strings.  Click here to read more about the erhu.
Can You Guess?
Cho-Liang Lin's father played the erhu, which has been called the Chinese violin.  Can You Guess how many strings an erhu has?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Christopher Rouse's Violin concerto premieredJuly 12, 1992. The Aspen Festival Orchestra was conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The soloist was
Cho-Liang Lin

Lin was born in 1960 in Hsin-Chu, a quiet town 60 miles from Taipei.

Lin's father, Kuo-Chin Lin, who played the Chinese stringed instrument the erhu, played recordings for him and then asked him to compare them. 
1854 - Birth of Rochester NY philanthropist George Eastman. Was inventor of Kodak camera and roll film; Eastman School of Music.

1885 - George Sainton Kay Butterworth, English composer and folksong collector, was born in London.

1900 - Premiere of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem at the Paris World Exhibition

1934 - Van Cliburn, US pianist and first American to win the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, was born.

1948 - Premiere of Vaughan Williams's Partita For Double String Orchestra

1954 - Elvis Presley signed his first recording contract (with Sun Records) and quit his job as a truck driver.

1956 - Sandi Patti, Gospel vocalist, was born.

1962 - The Rolling Stones made their performance debut at the Marquee Club in London.

1980 - Xanadu, by Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra became No.1 single in the UK.
So young Lin heard  performances by Nathan Milstein, Isaac Stern, David Oistrakh, Jascha Heifetz, and Fritz Kreisler. He developed lasting admiration for all these players, particularly Zino Francescatti.  "What I was most struck by was Francescatti's sound, the most beautiful and glorious sound, so rich and sweet. His version of the Saint-Saens third concerto is the one I grew up with. Everything he played was very sunny, even in more soulful or dark works."

In the early 1970s Lin went to Australia to study with Robert Pikler. By 1975 he had moved to New York and became a pre-college student at Juilliard.  There he worked with Dorothy DeLay. She says, "His thinking, if you can get behind his joking, is elegant, the way a physicist might say an equation is elegant."

By the time Lin was  18 he was invited by his European management to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Riccardo Muti. DeLay turned the offer down for him. "Miss DeLay felt I wasn't ready to play the Tchaikovsky Concerto under those circumstances," Lin explains. "In the 1980s, 18 years old was considered young for a violinist, not like today."

Lin has always been concerned about playing a quality instrument.  He says, ". . . I saw the 1734 'Duc de Camposelice' Guarneri 'del Gesu' in the Charles Beare shop in London and fell in love with it. The sound was immediately brilliant. Charles Beare had me in mind and knew I wasn't happy with the Huggins
(his previous violin -- parenthisis mine  A. H.). I knew the owner, a very dear friend, the very same person who loaned me the 'Soil' Stradivari years before. I sold the Huggins with Beare to get the Guarneri. The former owner of the Guarneri had insisted that the violin go to a performer, not to a collector or an amateur. I wish all transactions were that wonderful. I've had it for nine years now."

Brooklyn's Sam Zygmuntowicz is the luthier Lin trusts to work on his violins.  He is so pleased with Zygmuntowicz's work that he commissioned him to build an instrument.  That order was place more than five years before the violin's delivery.

Lin is also intensely focused on using quality bows.  He now uses French 19th century bows exclusively.  He says that his violin "prefers" particular bows depending on conditions like temperature and humidity.  So, "I have a fairly full complement of bows with different weights and stiffnesses, so I'm well set for any season of the year."

Recently he has changed the way he views accompanists.  He used to view them as someone to accompany his playing, He now sees them as co-workers and seeks their input.

In addition to his touring and live performances, Lin has made numerous recordings.

Cho-Liang Lin
1960 - 
Click the Picture to See
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Violinist Cho-Liang Lin