Natalie Lin Does Away with the Conductor
New Zealand violinist Natalie Lin, 26, has created a 16-piece string ensemble called Kinetic, an unconducted chamber orchestra which recently made its debut at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston.
“I lead the ensemble with my violin. It’s an exploration of chamber music on a larger scale,” Lin says.
Lin arrived in Houston in 2007.
Even though the city already has several small orchestras, she thinks the time has come for one more.
“I really love Houston,” Lin says. “For such a big city, it’s not as saturated by the arts as places like New York or London. I think there’s room for growth, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start something here.”
Her fascination with musician-led orchestras goes back to her youth in Auckland, hearing the Australian Chamber Orchestra when the maestro-less ensemble was touring in New Zealand. She also played in self-directed orchestras during her high school years.
More recently, she’s played in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and other conductorless ensembles in Britain.
Lin is completing a doctorate at Rice University. To fill her new orchestra, she looked to other young musicians she’s come to know in Houston.
“Kinetic started as a project for my degree at Rice. I have a core group who serve as the principals in the orchestra – and all of them are my friends.”
Original article by Colin Eatock, Houston Chronicle, October 14, 2015.