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Junior Virtuoso Wows BSO With Violin Performance

By Victoria C. Hallett, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

While other students were writing response papers last night, Joseph I. Lin '00 performed a violin concerto before a crowd of 5,000 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

After a show where the audience gave him the first of only two standing ovations for the evening, Lin signed autographs for a group of admiring little girls.

His path to the performance was an unconventional one, according to Lin's teaches Lynn W. Chang '75, a professional violinist who teaches at MIT, Boston University and the Boston Conservatory.

"It was almost by sheer accident," Chang said.

At each Harvard Commencement, the Boston Pops Orchestra holds a Harvard night where an alumni plays with the orchestra.

But this year, when the scheduled alumni cancelled the gig, the group contacted the music department and heard Lin play Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, which won him first place in last year's Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO) concerto competition.

"They loved it, were blown away," Chang said.

After Lin impressed the Pops, his tape was passed on to their parent organization, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), which offered him a solo.

For the final concert of the BSO"s 25th anniversary season under conductor Seiji Ozawa, the Mather House resident played the song that led to his discovery, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, at a free community concert. The event was held at Roxbury Community College's Reggie Louis Arena.

Yesterday afternoon, the BSO held an open rehearsal to accommodate the large crowd interested in the event, which also featured the Marcus Roberts Trio's performance of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," a presentation of the theme from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," and a performance by BSO's Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the Per- forming Artists at the Lincoln Schoolchildren's chorus. Pop singer Roberta Flack hostedthe event.

"I feel so lucky to have been a part of it,"Lin said. "You can't get much bigger than theBSO."

The mostly young audience was unusual for aclassical music performance.

Lin said their energy made the performance morememorable, although during the cadence, theaudience broke into his solo to applaud. Theythought the song had ended.

"The audience was very much into it, veryenthusiastic," Lin said. "It's hard to beat."

Chang said Lin practiced his part restlesslyover the past six weeks, as Chang advised him tomake this performance his top priority,outweighing academics.

"Fortunately, most of his teachers have beenunderstanding and good about giving himextensions," Chang said.

Chang called Lin "extraordinarily gifted."

"It's a pleasure working with him. He'sreceptive," Chang said. "From a teacher's point ofview, it's great to hear someone say, `I got that.'It gives me a lot of satisfaction."

Lin has a long history with the violin, havingplayed since the age of four.

His skill led him to enroll in the JuilliardSchool Pre-College Division, where he studied withShirley Givens.

At age 16, Lin was semi-finalist in theHanover International Violin Competition andfirst winner in the violin category of theSeventeen magazine/General Motors NationalConcerto Competition.

In 1996, Lin was named a Presidential Scholarin the Arts and won first place at the ConcertArtists Guild Competition, leading to a debut atCarnegie Hall's Will Recital Hall in 1997.

At Harvard, he has studied with Chang since hisfirst year and has played with both the MozartSymphony Orchestra and the HRO

"I feel so lucky to have been a part of it,"Lin said. "You can't get much bigger than theBSO."

The mostly young audience was unusual for aclassical music performance.

Lin said their energy made the performance morememorable, although during the cadence, theaudience broke into his solo to applaud. Theythought the song had ended.

"The audience was very much into it, veryenthusiastic," Lin said. "It's hard to beat."

Chang said Lin practiced his part restlesslyover the past six weeks, as Chang advised him tomake this performance his top priority,outweighing academics.

"Fortunately, most of his teachers have beenunderstanding and good about giving himextensions," Chang said.

Chang called Lin "extraordinarily gifted."

"It's a pleasure working with him. He'sreceptive," Chang said. "From a teacher's point ofview, it's great to hear someone say, `I got that.'It gives me a lot of satisfaction."

Lin has a long history with the violin, havingplayed since the age of four.

His skill led him to enroll in the JuilliardSchool Pre-College Division, where he studied withShirley Givens.

At age 16, Lin was semi-finalist in theHanover International Violin Competition andfirst winner in the violin category of theSeventeen magazine/General Motors NationalConcerto Competition.

In 1996, Lin was named a Presidential Scholarin the Arts and won first place at the ConcertArtists Guild Competition, leading to a debut atCarnegie Hall's Will Recital Hall in 1997.

At Harvard, he has studied with Chang since hisfirst year and has played with both the MozartSymphony Orchestra and the HRO

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