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Timothy Fain — virtuoso violinist plays this weekend

By Michael Pearl

Violinist Timothy Fain

Timothy Fain and his collaborative pianist, William Ransom, will give two sizzling concerts for Pro Musica this Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8, both at 5pm. With his adventuresome spirit and vast musical gifts, Tim has emerged as a mesmerizing new presence on the music scene. 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 new hit film Black Swan, and heard as the sound of Richard Gere’s violin in Fox Searchlight’s feature film Bee Season. Selected as one of Symphony and Strad magazines’ “Up-and-Coming Musicians,” Fain captured the Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Young Concert Artists International Award. As The Washington Post recently raved, “Fain has everything he needs for a first-rate career.”

Pro Musica Concert Series
Violinist Timothy Fain, accompanied by pianist Will Ransom
Sat & Sun, Dec 7 & 8, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
100/200/300 pesos

He recently electrified audiences at debuts with the Baltimore Symphony with conductor Marin Alsop, at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has also appeared with the Cincinnati Chamber Symphony, Brooklyn and Hague Philharmonics and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in a special performance at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. In addition, he was the featured soloist with the Philip Glass Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in a concert version of Einstein on the Beach and recently toured Europe in a duo-recital program with Philip Glass.

A dynamic and compelling performer in traditional works, he is also a fervent champion of 20th and 21st century composers, with a repertoire ranging widely from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Aaron Jay Kernis and John Corigliano. As the Los Angeles Times recently noted, Fain’s career “is based, in part, on new music and new ways of thinking about classical music.” His provocative debut CD, Arches, music for solo violin, reflects Fain’s inquisitive passion and intellect, combining old and new solo works by J.S. Bach, Fritz Kreisler, Kevin Puts, Mark O’Connor, Daniel Ott and Randy Woolf. His new disc, River of Light (Naxos), brings the tradition of the virtuosic short piece into the present, with short works by living American composers.

He performs on a violin made by Franceso Gobetti, the Moller, Venice 1717, on extended loan from Clement and Karen Arrison, through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

In last week’s Atención I wrote about the music Tim and Will are going to play on Saturday. On Sunday, the pair will perform a different program of music spanning three centuries. The program includes Beethoven’s Sonata No.10, fittingly called The Cockcrow, which exudes a host of moods distinctly marked through wild key changes and rhythms. The music effectively conveys a combination of the inner turmoil and challenges of aging with moments of seemingly youthful bursts of energy. Gentle ease, despair, calm and carefree presto vitality stride softly and loudly throughout the four movements. It’s Beethoven letting loose in ways that create complex unconventional structures that have little in common with his previous sonatas.

Less ebullient yet equally exciting are the five melodic themes that constitute Schubert’s Duo Sonata in A major. One wants this 20-minute masterpiece to continue without end.

In addition to Schubert, two other 19th-century composers are featured on the program — Kreisler and Vieuxtemps. Kreisler, deemed the greatest violinist of his time, included in his compositional repertoire a series of dances. Two of them bear titles reflecting the opposite poles of love’s ecstasy and pain. Fain will perform Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrow), the more popular piece of the love duo. Highly sentimental, this piece’s enduring melody features incredible pathos and sadness. It always brings tears to the eyes.

Vieuxtemps’ Souvenir d’Amerique also has a dazzling effect as it opens with a Paganini introduction, followed by Yankee Doodle in a series of variations that sport great humor. What a crowd pleaser! Instantly recognizable is this American traditional folk song, it will be coupled with Glory Hallelujah — a mainstay reminder of the inimitable importance of gospel music — the heartbeat of America.

Returning to the film Black Swan, Tim’s violin playing is so fantastic that we are giving you the chance to see the movie at the Teatro Santa Ana in the Biblioteca, today, Friday, December 6, at 5 pm. Tickets only available from the Biblioteca.

Tickets for the concerts, at 100, 200 and 300 pesos donation each, are available at La Tienda in the Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; La Conexión, Aldama 3; St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo 6, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, and at the door half an hour before the concert begins.

The quality of the music and opera Pro Musica brings to San Miguel, our unique Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason program, teaching music in underprivileged schools in the campo, and our work in the city’s orphanages, costs increasing amounts of money to provide. The best way to help us fund our activities is to become a Patron Member. Patron membership costs as little US$100 per year, is US tax deductible, and includes many benefits, such as complimentary concert tickets and Meet the Artists suppers and cocktail parties. For information on all of Pro Musica’s concerts for the 2013-2014 season and Patron Membership, please visit our website:


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