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Tim Fain returns to San Miguel for three-concert weekend

By Kathleen B. Lowenstein

Violin virtuoso Tim Fain returns to San Miguel, by overwhelming popular demand, to perform three concerts for Pro Musica on Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2, at 5pm, and Sunday, March 3, at 4pm, all at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo 6.

Pro Musica Presents violinist Timothy Fain
Fri & Sat, Mar 1 & 2, 5pm
Sun, Mar 3, 4pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
300/200/100 pesos

Fain’s career has soared; the “…charismatic young violinist with a matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts and first rate chops…” (Boston Globe) was most recently seen on screen and heard on the soundtrack of the hit film Black Swan, and heard as the sound of Richard Gere’s violin in the feature film Bee Season. A dynamic and compelling performer in traditional works, he is also a fervent champion of 20th and 21st-century composers. As the Los Angeles Times recently noted, his career “…is based, in part, on new music and new ways of thinking about classical music.” A native of Santa Monica, California, Fain is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. He performs on a violin made by Francesco Gobetti in Venice (1717), the Moller.

Fain will be accompanied by Will Ransom on the piano. Ransom has appeared in recital, as soloist with orchestras and as a chamber musician in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Korea, South America, Mexico, and throughout the United States. Born in Boston, Ransom began his musical studies at an early age. He was a scholarship student of William Masselos at the Juilliard School and he also worked with Theodore Lettvin at the University of Michigan, and Madame Gaby Casadesus at the Ravel Academy in France. Ransom is currently the Mary L. Emerson Professor of Piano and head of the piano faculty at Emory University in Atlanta.

On Friday, the duo will open with Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata in F minor, Op. 4, which the composer penned when he was only 14 years old. The sonata was clearly influenced by Beethoven and Mozart, but also demonstrates the development of Mendelssohn’s own style, which would eventually make him one of the most popular of the romantic composers. The recital will continue with another German romantic composer, Johannes Brahms’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, first performed in 1879. The concert concludes with what is considered one of the finest sonatas for piano and violin, Cesar Franck’s Sonata in A major. Franck, a French composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher; wrote the sonata in 1886, when he was 63 years old, as a wedding present for the 31-year-old violinist Eugène Ysaÿe.

For the second concert in the series on Saturday, “Virtuoso Pieces,”  Fain will sweep the audience off its feet with works by Bach (his masterful Chaconne in D minor), Beethoven, Dvorak, Kreisler, Saint-Saens, and Tchaikovsky’s hauntingly beautiful Swan Lake Suite. No one I know can rival Fain’s romantic, swaying method of playing, which extracts haunting melodies, leaps of arpeggios and soaring sounds from his wonderful violin, leaving the audience astounded and delighted. This will be Fain at his charismatic best.

Finally, Sunday’s brings an All-American program—if you have an interest in exploring 20th-century and contemporary classical music, this concert is a must. Six of the seven composers included in the program are living. The concert opens with William Bolcom’s Graceful Ghost Rag, originally a piano piece that has been arranged for various ensembles; Next is Aaron Jay Kernis’s Air. This will be followed by the dean of American composers, Aaron Copland’s Sonata for Violin and Piano composed in 1943. Kevin Puts’ Arches follows—in its alternation between “caprices” and “arias,” the work moves between the poles of virtuosity and lyricism throughout. The second half of the program includes two works by Philip Glass, a friend of Fain’s, as well as another Puts composition, Be There, by Judd Greenstein, and John Corigliano’s well-known Red Violin Caprices, reminiscent of Paganini in their finger-flying intensity.

Tickets for the Tim Fain and Will Ransom concerts may be purchased at any of our ticket sales outlets: La Tienda in the Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; and St. Paul’s Church office, Calle Cardo 6, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm, for a donation of 300/200/100 pesos.

The quality of musicians we bring to San Miguel and our unique Education Outreach program cost increasing amounts. The best way to help us fund our activities is to become a patron member. Annual membership begins at as little as US$100, is US tax deductible and includes many benefits, like complimentary concert tickets and Meet the Artists suppers and cocktail parties. For additional information, visit our website at


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