Fanfare Magazine critic Robert Maxham heralds Romantic Journey, a new album from alumnus Haoli Lin (BM Violin Performance, 2013; MM Violin Performance, 2015), as both “breathtaking” and “urgently recommended.” Featuring music for violin and piano, Lin’s newest release was recorded in CCM’s own Robert J. Werner Recital Hall between October 2015 and March 2016.

Alumna and current Doctor of Musical Arts piano student Hai Jin (AD Piano Performance, 2013; MM Piano Performance, 2015) collaborates with Lin in Romantic Journey, which is available for purchase on

“Haoli Lin’s repertoire presents the meat and potatoes of old-time violin recitals with refreshing naturalness and grace,” critic Maxham wrote in his review of the album for Fanfare Magazine.

Lin’s album showcases some of the finest gems of the classical romantic period. Opening with the effortlessly sweet melodies of Manuel Ponce and Jascha Heifetz’s Estrellita and concluding with the virtuosic Carmen Fantasy by Pablo Sarasate, Romantic Journey offers a taste of an entire generation of music in just 60 brief minutes.

When discussing the standard repertory for his instrument, Lin praises that of the romantic era as the most affective and emotionally persuasive. Lin invites listeners to “sit back and enjoy the journey” in a written introduction to the album posted on his website:

“It is often claimed that modern ears, even after decades of acclimation to increasingly modern and harmonically dissonant music, still find their home in the sounds of romanticism. The emotional and sentimental qualities of romantic music, combined with its inherent virtuosity and brilliance, create an undeniable beauty of expression that few can resist. The violin, with its enormous palette of sounds, was a preferred solo instrumental voice of many romantic composers due to its capability to convey character ranging from the sweetest of lyrical singing tone to full-throated aggressive power. It is my hope that this recording elicits in the listener the same wide range of emotions that these pieces have evoked in me since my childhood. Sit back and enjoy the journey.”

Lin performs on not one, but two historic violins of the Neapolitan family Gagliano on this recording. One, provided by the Guadagnini Violin Shop in Chicago, was made by Nicolò Gagliano and dates back to 1732. He also performs on another exquisite instrument, made by Januarius Gagliano in 1750, provided by University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Collection.

About Haoli Lin
Born 1990 in Shantou, China, Lin became the youngest prizewinner in the history of China’s National violin competition at age 18. He also won first prize in Michigan’s Andrews International String competition in 2013. Lin has performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber player throughout China and United States. His solo performances include concerto appearances with the China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, China Youth Symphony Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, Great Wall Soloists, Shenzhen Youth Symphony Orchestra, Andrews University Symphony Orchestra and the Shanxi Chamber orchestra. He has performed in prominent concert halls in China, including Beijing’s National Center for Performing Arts, Beijing Concert Hall, Hong Kong Sha Tin Music Hall, Tuen Wan Hall, Shenzhen Concert Hall and Shenzhen Poly Theatre.

Lin studied with Pei Feng, Pei-yan Liu and with the renowned Chinese violin pedagogue Yaoji Lin in the in Shenzhen Arts School. He has attended the Great Wall International Music Academy for four years, and he collaborated with renowned musicians such as Christopher O’Riley and Rohan De Silva. He has performed in master classes for Midori, Miriam Fried and the Tokyo Quartet. Lin earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as a Starling scholarship recipient at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music studying with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus.

Lin was recently chosen as the recipient of a career Grant from the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation. Lin concertizes on a Nicolò Gagliano violin from the year 1732, courtesy of the Guadagnini Violin shop in Chicago, and a Januarius Gagliano from the CCM collection.

About Hai Jin
Pianist Hai Jin graduated from the China Conservatory of Music in 2009, where she studied with Bing Han. She has received numerous awards and prizes in competitions, and has performed recitals and orchestral collaborations throughout China. She made her American debut at Boston University in 2010. As a collaborative pianist, Jin has served as faculty at the Great Wall Music Academy in Beijing and at the Cleveland International Music Festival. As a chamber musician, she has toured with the Sassmannshaus Piano Trio to critical acclaim in both the United States and Asia. She has studied with Lee Fiser and Sandra Rivers, and has worked with Rohan De Silva, Hiram Diaz, Erinn Frechette, Heather Verbeck Harrison and Gao Can. As a student of Awadagin Pratt, she earned an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she is currently completing doctoral studies with James Tocco.

You can learn more about Haoli Lin and Romantic Journey by visiting


Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies

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