November 22, 2021

CIM Violinists Alina Kobialka & Megan Lin perform with Asheville Symphony Orchestra

Alina Kobialka (left) and Megan Lin (right)
Alina Kobialka (left) and Megan Lin (right)

Two of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s finest violinists – Alina Kobialka (BM ’20, MM ’21) and Megan Lin – performed Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with the Asheville Symphony on Saturday, November 20. CIM students of remarkable talent have been performing with the Asheville Symphony annually since 1998, thanks to the Payne Fund Prize established by the Bolton Family. For the first time, the prize was awarded to two performers who are notable for their impressive artistry and collaborative skills.

Kobialka, who transferred to CIM to study with acclaimed soloist, recording artist and pedagogue Ilya Kaler, noted that her studies allowed her to “have complete confidence and versatility” in her performances, fostering a sense of confidence that brought her musicality to new heights.  

Lin, who studies with renowned violinist, chamber musician and conductor Jaime Laredo and former Dallas Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Jan Sloman, currently plays a Scarampella violin donated to CIM by John Bolton. She echoed the sentiments of her concerto partner, saying “I am so lucky and grateful to have received so much support from CIM! I'm really humbled to be able to work with my incredible teachers, coaches and staff who help open doors to professional engagement opportunities and challenge me every day to improve.”

The Payne Fund was created in 1929 in Cleveland by the late Frances Payne Bolton and Chester Castle Bolton. Mrs. Bolton was the first woman elected to Congress from Ohio when she assumed the congressional seat held by her husband after his death in 1939; the two used the Payne Fund to enrich the lives of those living in Northeast Ohio and beyond. The good work of the Payne Fund continues today through the Bolton family descendants, some of whom still call Cleveland their home.

“The Bolton family’s extraordinary support of CIM students enhances the professional training of our exceptional conservatory students. Their generosity provides our emerging artists with a professional performance as soloist with orchestra – a remarkable experience for which CIM is extremely grateful,” said Executive Vice President & Provost Scott Harrison. “We’re incredibly proud of Alina and Megan and look forward to celebrating their successes in the years to come.”

Kobialka made her concerto debut at age 10, and first performed with the San Francisco Symphony four years later; she has returned three more times since then, in addition to appearances with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, California Symphony and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. She was awarded second prize as the youngest competitor of the 2017 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition. Other competition accolades include being a laureate of the 2016 Irving M. Klein International Competition and receiving the Grand Prize at the Mondavi Center National Young Artists Competition.

A native of Plano, Texas, Lin performed as soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, among others. She was named a Texas Young Master by the Texas Commission on the Arts in 2018. An active chamber musician, Lin received the Grand Prize at the Seventh Coltman Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Elless Quartet; the ensemble recently toured the Midwest to perform and lead master classes for high school students.

Tune in! The concert will be broadcast and streamed on Blue Ridge Public Radio on February 8 at 7pm and February 10 at 9am Eastern. 

Photo by Michael Morel.