A New Zealand native who moved to the U.S. in 2007 to study music, violinist Natalie Lin, 28, found Houston to be unique. Not only thanks to its welcoming nature, but also because something was lacking: Houston was one of the only major cities without a conductorless — meaning collaborative — orchestra. Lin, who’s finishing up her doctorate at Rice, founded Kinetic in 2015 to bridge the gap between traditional chamber music, like a string quartet, and a full orchestra. Her 16-member group is notably without an artistic director who calls the shots. “We make sure everyone has their voice heard and is comfortable speaking up and trying different ideas,” she says. Kinetic closes out its second season on May 6 with a performance celebrating local talent, such as composer Pierre Jalbert, called “Made in Houston” at MATCH.
“Music is so essential to the community,” says Lin, opposite page. “When people gather together and experience one art form in the same space and time, it builds culture.” Lin wears a diamond necklace, $27,595, at Deutsch & Deutsch; spike bangles with pave diamonds, $2,390 and $3,075, both at Zadok Jewelers.