Tony Lin Leaps to Dizzying New Heights

Tony C Lin Chch Mail review 21.10.2016

Christchurch Mail
Review: Patrick Shepherd
The Piano.
21st October, 2016

Slotting in this extra concert in his home town after a New Zealand-wide tour, Tony Lin gave a performance that was assured, thoughtful and full of musical interest. Unafraid to tackle meaty major works from memory (the only piece that wasn’t was, paradoxically, one of his own compositions), Lin approached his performance with a reverence and focus, projecting a Zen-like intense calm harking back to many of the great exponents of the instrument. When the sparks fly they did so with great power and weight but Lin’s gestures were never facile and one felt throughout that everything fed into a deep understanding of the music.

Bartok’s Piano Sonata opened the programme and in many ways laid out the palette for what was to come. Lin brought out the improvisatory nature of the Allegro moderato, a fine contrast to the rhythmic bite of the typically folk-inspired ideas that drove much of the rest of the piece. No mean feat but Lin managed to draw together the slightly schizophrenic threads into a coherent whole, which was also a feature of the Schubert’s massive Piano Sonata no.21 in B flat major concluding the ...continued

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Tony Chen Lin in Rotorua

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Rotorua Daily Post
Review: Hanno Fairburn
Concert Chamber, Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, Rotorua
Wednesday, 12th October, 2016

This country has produced a wealth of young and gifted music performers, and in his ‘Song and Dance’ programme the pianist Tony Chen Lin showed by his technical mastery and penetrating interpretations that he is among the forefront of these.

His quality came out right at the start when he found meaning in the intricate harmonies of Bartok’s ‘Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs’, where the composer took folk music from his native land and developed them in imaginative ways. The pianist’s control of rhythm and elegance were completely worthy for Bach’s ‘French Suite No.5’, seven movements based on dance styles of the time. ‘Distant Voices’ by the contemporary Chinese composer Gao Ping was a fascinating work, exotic and intricate, and its appealing tonal colours and textures made it a delight.

Tony Chen Lin’s own short ‘Digression’ could well have been called ‘Introspection’, for it seemed to reveal a composer’s inner thoughts while exploring the range of sounds which a piano can make. Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B flat major was written at the end of the composer’s life and expresses his ...continued

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Young Kiwi Pianist Wows Audiences

1. Rangiora Concert (credit Jeffery Wen)

Warkworth Musica
Review: Bruce Carlsson
Mahurangi College Hall, Warkworth
Friday, 30th September, 2016

When polished talent, consummate musicianship, and passionate dedication converge in a single performance, the result is likely to be electrical. So it was with Tony Chen Lin’s presentation of works by Bach, Beethoven, Bartok, and Schumann, incorporating a composition of his own. Performing from memory, his concentration was solely on the keyboard, and the intensity was palpable.
The delivery of Bartok’s solitary Piano Sonata (Sz. 80), one of the most important works for solo piano of the early 20th century, was everything that it should be, taking us through a kaleidoscope of changing moods and musical ideas. Lin’s skill was outstanding, with every note crafted in the mind before being transferred to the keyboard. Roles were reversed. His hands became the instrument, and the piano the medium.

After receiving applause, another work of major significance to the piano repertoire – the Bach Prelude and Fugue in E Major BWV 878, again with amazing forethought and preparation. The voicing of the three parts in the prelude held such clarity that one was tempted to hum along with one or any of them, and working through six episodes, ...continued

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Tony Chen Lin – piano evocations, visions and premonitions at St.Andrew’s


Review: Peter Mechen
St.Andrew’s on-The-Terrace, Wellington
Sunday, 11th September, 2016

Tony Chen Lin was one of two supremely gifted young Christchurch-based pianists (the other was Jun Bouterey-Ishido) who “slugged it out” for first prize at the 2008 Kerikeri International Piano Competition, an event which I had the good fortune to attend. The adjudicator, Australian pianist Ian Munro, awarded Jun Bouterey-Ishido the first prize by what he acknowledged was the narrowest of margins, a decision I was glad I didn’t have to make, as I remember not being able to fault either of them, performance-wise, at the time. Both have gone on to significantly further their pianistic and musical careers, this afternoon’s recitalist Tony Lin completing his Master of Music at the Hochschule für Music in Freiburg in 2013, as well as recently performing as both pianist and conductor in Germany (Freiburg and Stuttgart) and in Switzerland (at the Semaine Internationale de Piano et de Musique de Chambre), at which he’s appearing this year once again, as a conductor.

I thought Lin’s recital programme fascinating – the choices suggested that the pianist enjoyed making connections and drawing attention to influences and cross-references. Both the Bartok and the Gao Ping works ...continued

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