Cho-Liang Lin (or, Jimmy, as he is privately known) is without a doubt one of the finest and most thorough violin talents to emerge in the latter half of the 20th century.
Born in Taiwan in January 1960, he was given a toy violin by his parents as a small child and, showing a genuine interest in the instrument, rewarded with a real instrument (not full-size, of course) to play. In his 12th year he left Taiwan and its unfortunately stagnant classical music pool for a fresh start in Sydney, Australia, under the tutelage of New South Wales State Conservatorium professor Robert Pikler. He began taking lessons from Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School three years later, and in 1977 was catapulted to world fame by a performance at President Jimmy Carter's inaugural celebrations. Next up for the teenage virtuoso was top prize at Spain's Queen Sofia International Competition, after which the transition to top-bill soloist was a smooth one. Many years after he himself partook of the school's resources, Cho-Liang Lin began teaching a class of students at Juilliard, and he remains today one of the most thoughtful and warm violinists on the market. His interpretations of the standard literature are well represented on compact disc, and he has also been the exponent for such new works as Tan Dun's Out of Peking for violin and orchestra. In 1988, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.