Malu Lin grew up near Aberystwyth, where she studied with Robert Jacoby. At the age of nineteen she was runner-up in the All Wales Young Musician of the Year competition. This resulted in several concerto appearances, including with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cardiff Ensemble.
She went on to study music at York University, where in her final year she began to study with Christopher Rowland. She continued with him at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she led a string quartet which won all the college chamber music prizes, and whose performances of Tippett and Shostakovich won national critical acclaim. The quartet went on to win an award from the Countess of Munster Trust to study with the Amadeus Quartet at the Royal Academy of Music. She also won prizes for her solo playing at the Royal Northern College of Music, which led to a performance of the Berg violin concerto with the college symphony orchestra. Later concerto appearances included performances of the Tchaikovsky and Brahms to enthusiastic reviews.
In 1997 Malu started working with composer and pianist Giles Swayne. They gave their debut recital at the Purcell Room in December of that year, and were married in 2002. They live in Herefordshire with their two dogs.