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After Four Years, Violinist Joe Lin Says Goodbye in PBHA Benefit Concert

By Ben C. Wasserstein, Contributing Writer

On Monday night, Joseph I. Lin '00, a world-renowned violinist, gave his final concert at Harvard.

The event at Sanders Theatre, entitled "Joseph Lin and Friends," was a benefit for the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) Centennial Campaign.

Joining Lin were Benjamin Loeb '89, a pianist, Mary Rosen, a cellist in the Mendelsohn string quartet who is in residence at Harvard, and violinist Nokuthula E. Ngwenyama, a student at the Divinity School.

The benefit began with Bach's "Chaconne," a solo violin piece.

Lin's next piece, Beethoven's

"Kreutzer Sonata," featured Loeb's accompaniment.

The second part of the program featured all four participants, as Ngwenyama and Rosen joined Lin and Loeb for a performance of Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 3.

"These pieces worked for the people involved," he said.

Lin's collaborators Monday night were his first choice--"some of the top musicians who came to mind."

Lin said his farewell concert was a fitting finale to his four years at the College because all his musicians were affiliated with Harvard.

As for the charitable organization that benefited from the concert, Lin said he appreciates the work PBHA has done in the Cambridge and Boston communities.

Lin himself has participated in a PBHA program--Harvard and Radcliffe Musical Outreach to Neighborhood Youth (HARMONY).

HARMONY volunteers give instrumental and vocal lessons to students in Cambridge Public Schools.

Lin, a Mather House resident and concentrator in the comparative study of religion, is originally from Rockland County, N.Y., just north of New York City.

He began learning the violin at age four at his parents' urging.

"In high school was when I wanted to do it on my own," he said.

While a teenager, Lin attended the pre-college program of Manhattan's Julliard School, which was where he first met Loeb.

Lin's burgeoning career has taken him around the world. In Hannover, Germany, he became the youngest violinist ever to win a prize at the prestigious International Violin Competition.

One of the highlights of Lin's career outside Harvard is his performance as a featured soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra last spring.

This spring, he won Harvard's Lewis Sudler Prize, which is awarded annually to a graduating senior for outstanding achievement in the arts.

After graduating, Lin plans to live in New York City and concentrate on playing the violin.

"I've got a lot to learn," he said. "I'm eager to go out there and really dedicate myself to it."

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