Born in China, Song Yalin began studying the cello when he was seven, and entered the music school at the Beijing Conservatory at the age of nine. After graduating he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London for a master’s degree in music. After graduation from the RAM, he continued his musical journey by studying at Northwestern University in America. His cello teachers included Yu mingqin, Mats linstrom, Ko Iwasaki, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and Chris Adkins.
Yalin has been recipient of numerous awards and prizes in China, England and the United States. He won outstanding performance at the third China National Cello Competition, first prize of May Muke Competition in London, was winner of the Concerto Competition at the Royal Academy of Music, and first prize of the American Music Teacher Association Competition in Chicago. He received a British-China Trust Fund scholarship to study at the Royal Academy, and a scholarship from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago to study at Northwestern University. He has also attended music festivals including the Tanglewood, Music Academy of the West and National Orchestra Institute.
Prior to joining the HK Phil, he was Principal Cello of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for two years, and Principal Cello of San Antonio Symphony and Fortworth Symphony orchestras.