Ian Lin is a native Rhode Islander from South Kingstown (born in the summer of 2009), who is a pianist, composer, and violinist.
When he was 5, he was accepted as a Davidson Young Scholar by the Davidson Institute for profoundly gifted children. He is currently enrolled at Davidson Academy Online. At 11 years old, he took the SAT and was placed at the 99th percentile among all test takers.
At 6 months old, Ian did not respond to sounds, even the loud banging of pots and pans, but after miraculous healing from above, he was bestowed with exceptional hearing and got into music at a very young age (for details, see this Providence Journal article). However, he still had severe eating disorders for much of his early childhood till age 6. Music served as his main source of entertainment and interest, as he often needed to spend lots of time at home.
Ian had a knack for music; he started playing nursery rhymes on piano by ear at age 2 and began formal piano instruction at age 3. He spent most of his time exploring different musical aspects. He picked up both violin and composition at age 6. He most recently formally studied violin under Alexey Shabalin for several years from ages 11-14. At the same time, he formally started studying music theory. He took a 400-level college composition counterpoint class when he was 7. In the same year, he got 3rd place in MTNA’s national composition competition. Providence Journal called him “The music (little) man.” When he was 10, he was accepted into the best youth orchestra in Rhode Island as the youngest member, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra, and became concertmaster of the orchestra when he was 13. Meanwhile, he studied conducting and sang in a choir.
Ian studied piano under Ms. Tanya Schwartzman, the founder and music director of Sharon Music Academy in Sharon, MA from age 6 to 13. This past summer, Ian has decided to focus much more on piano, and moved to Philadelphia to study with Natalie Zhu, the artistic director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival and a Curtis alumna, and Professor Meng-Chieh Liu, a piano faculty at Curtis. He still finds time for violin, and was accepted into the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, which has some of the best young musicians in the tri-state area. He has continued his composition studies with Curtis Professor Ke-Chia Chen.
Ian has won various music awards. Selected piano awards include 1st Prize at International Chopin Competition, Hartford, CT, 1st Prize at Paderewski International Piano Competition, 1st Prize at International Crescendo Little Mozart Competition, 1st Place at Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition, 3rd place at International Young Pianist Competition in Washington D.C., 3rd place in New England Piano Teachers’ Association Mildred Freiburg Competition, MTNA Piano Competition Rhode Island state winner, and the Best Performer Award at URI Piano Extravaganza. Selected composition awards include 3rd place at MTNA national composition competition, multiple times winner of MTNA Eastern Division composition competition, New Tribeca Emerging Composer Award (for ages 21 and under), honorable mention at ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) Young Composer Competition (for ages 10-30), and multiple times winner of the NEPTA Alice Proctor Award for outstanding original composition in the classical style.
He has performed at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall and BSO Concert Hall on multiple occasions. Besides playing in formal venues, he loves sharing music with the local community. He regularly gives solo concerts at senior living centers.
Outside of music, Ian’s biggest hobby is tennis. He played as the #2 singles player on the South Kingstown High School tennis team last spring. Additionally, he enjoys playing chess and solving Rubik’s cubes, with a personal best time of 7.26 seconds for the 3×3 cube.