In 2003, now TCU professors Gloria Lin and her husband Jesus Castro-Balbi said goodbye to life in New York City and moved to Fort Worth, Texas.
Castro-Balbi had accepted a full-time position to teach cello at Texas Christian University—the first full-time cello position at the TCU School of Music. After living in New York City for some time, Castro-Balbi and his wife discovered that Fort Worth had a dramatically different culture.
“It was a big change from renting a small apartment and riding public transportation, to owning a house and driving cars,” Lin said. “The change in weather was also a shock.”
Ten years, three children and countless performances later, Lin and Castro-Balbi now call Fort Worth home. Castro-Balbi continues to teach cello in the School of Music, while Lin teaches piano and musicology.
Their influence goes beyond the classroom, however.
TCU alumna Corinne Trigg said she studied with Lin as an undergraduate music student. Now an elementary school music teacher, Trigg said Lin taught her much more than just music.
“We never had a lesson where we just played the piano,” Trigg said. “There was always some deep conversation that we got into. Sometimes it was about marriage, motherhood, education around the world—she is one of the most brilliant and insightful people I have ever met.”
Yuzheng Chen, a junior artist diploma cello student, said Castro-Balbi has influenced his music performance.
“The most important thing he gave to me is the confidence on the stage,” Chen said.
Together, the husband and wife form the Lin/Castro-Balbi Duo, playing cello and piano duets all over the world. Last year, they performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.
They do not leave TCU out of their performance schedule, however. The Lin/Castro-Balbi Duo has performed frequently for their fellow Horned Frogs, even premiering compositions by fellow TCU faculty.
Chen said watching the Lin/Castro-Balbi Duo perform is like watching an early morning sunrise.
“[There are] very warm sounds and many inside colors,” he said.
Despite a busy schedule filled with performances and teaching, Lin and Castro-Balbi said they are still able to squeeze in family time. Teaching music to their children is one way they spend time together.
“Learning to play instruments teaches the kids many skills needed to achieve and succeed in the future,” Lin said.
For a schedule of performances, visit the TCU School of Music website.