Lin Sheng-shih was born in Guangdong in 1915. He graduated from the National Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, China, and was an outstanding pupil of the late Huang Zi. During the Sino-Japanese war, he came to Hong Kong and founded the South China Symphony Orchestra which held its first performance in 1938. He was appointed conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of China in Chongqing and was concurrently professor at the National Conservatory during the Pacific war.
When the war was over, Lin returned to Hong Kong and reconstituted the South China Symphony Orchestra. He also taught at the Chinese Sacred Music School, Lingnan College, and was head of the Music Departments of Tak Ming College and Tsing Hwa College. Shortly afterwards, he became guest professor at the Soochow University, Taiwan and was elected chairman of the ACL in 1973.
He was also Honorary Member of the International Culture Society, Korea. His works have been broadcasted by NHK Japan, performed in Kyoto, USA, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and the Royal Albert Hall in London with great success. The manuscripts of Lin's scores are stored in the Special Collections or the Main Library at the University of Hong Kong.