Since his debut here, with the Pasadena Symphony, six years and one month ago, Cho-Liang Lin has made a steady series of successful appearances with orchestra. But the Taiwan-born violinist, who will be 25 this year, had never played a recital in our bailiwick until Sunday night, when he returned to Pasadena and gave a fascinating program with the assistance of pianist Sandra Rivers in Ambassador Auditorium.
Making the right career moves seems Lin's usual course of action. Being young and well exposed as a performer has not been a problem for him, since he has chosen, it appears, the appropriate musical options at every stage of his growth thus far.
For his Ambassador recital, he chose works fitting his polished virtuosity, his intensity as a performer and his lightness of approach. Lin makes gorgeous sounds, attacks passionate music passionately, but never loses the elegance and cool that are his personal hallmarks.
In an agenda consisting of Stravinsky's Divertimento from "Le Baiser de la fee," the C-minor Sonata of Grieg, Falla's "Suite Populaire Espagnole" and the Sonata by Richard Strauss--all works that benefit from the sanguine emotional perspectives and hair-trigger skills of youth--Lin excelled, as might have been predicted, given his local track record.