Com­ing up in Philly Music: Vio­lin­ist Joseph Lin plays Bach with Philadel­phia Cham­ber Music Society

2 minute read
Joseph Lin is the first violinist of the Julliard Quartet. (Photo by Shan Su.)
Joseph Lin is the first violinist of the Julliard Quartet. (Photo by Shan Su.)

Violinist Joseph Lin was the first violinist of one of the world’s top string quartets, the Juilliard Quartet, before he left full-time concertizing to devote more time to his four children. He still teaches violin and chamber music at Juilliard, and he is noted for a project, at Cornell University, that combined a study of Bach’s violin music with new works inspired by Bach. This Friday, he will play three of Bach’s works for unaccompanied violin in a livestreamed recital presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

“Spending time with the music of Bach is both a privilege and a humbling experience,” Lin says. “It challenges us to listen deeply, open our spirits, and imagine infinite possibility through sound.”

Push it to the limit

Bach wrote six pieces for unaccompanied violin during the first part of his career while he was a court musician. Lin played three of them for a PCMS recital in November, and he’ll finish the set at this concert. Bach pushed the limits of the violin and created works that stand at the pinnacle of the violin’s repertoire. A single violin produces deep harmonies and plays one theme against another without any help from another instrument.

The concert page on the PCMS website includes program notes, a video of the November concert, and a 25-minute preconcert lecture by Temple University Bach scholar Koji Otsuki, the director of the Gamut Bach Ensemble, which presents concerts in Tokyo and Philadelphia.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents violinist Joseph Lin on Thursday, April 8, at 6pm, livestreamed from the Benjamin Franklin Hall of the American Philosophical Society. The livestream can be viewed on the PCMS website and is pay-what-you-wish. The video may remain available for 72 hours after the performance, subject to the approval of the artists.

Image Description: A portrait of Joseph Lin, a Taiwanese-American. Smiling at the camera, his chin rests on one hand, and he's holding a violin in the other hand.

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