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Tim Fain Comes to UB

Violin virtuoso presents two concerts during UB residency

The Department of Music at UB will host a week-long residency by the young violin virtuoso Tim Fain, highlighted by two concerts open to the public in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall. On Saturday, October 23 at 7:30pm, Fain appears in recital with pianist Melissa Marse, while on Tuesday, October 26, Fain will appear with the Slee Sinfonietta under the direction of German guest conductor Matthias Pintscher.

Fain is no stranger to Buffalo audiences. He first appeared locally on one of the Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s Sunday afternoon “Gift to the Community” concerts about a decade ago, after he had won the prestigious Young Concert Artists competition in 1999. Since then, Fain has gone on to appearances with major orchestras throughout North America. His most recent Buffalo appearance was with Music from Copland House at UB last fall, in a concert that may well have been the sleeper event of the season.

Friday’s recital finds Fain teaming up with pianist Melissa Marse, a long-time friend and collaborator from their days at Juilliard; Marse is a substitute for the originally announced pianist. Fain plays on a rare 1717 violin, known as the “Moller,” by the Venetian maker Francesco Gobetti. The violin is owned by Buffalo patrons Clement and Karen Arrison, and is on extended loan to Fain through the Stadivari Society of Chicago. “I’m grateful to the Arrison’s for giving me the opportunity to develop a relationship with this wonderful instrument over the past three years,” said Fain. “It takes years for a violinist to intuitively understand what a particular instrument has to offer, and I’m very thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to build a relationship with this violin through the generosity of my friends Clem and Karen Arrison.”

Fain enjoys a deep familiarity with the works on his Saturday evening recital. “I first played the final movement of Beethoven’s Spring Sonata when I was in the fifth grade, and the piece has wonderful memories for me,” Fain said, “and I’ve enjoyed playing the sonata ever since. The Chaconne by Bach is one of the truly great masterworks for solo violin; I’ve performed it before an audience many dozens of times and the piece reveals something new to me every time that I play it.”

When asked about his programming of the Sonata No.1 in A Major, Op. 13, by Gabriel Faure, also on Saturday’s program, Fain said, “I have so great an affinity for late romantic and Impressionist French music that I sometimes wonder if I may have been French in a past life.” Fain also likes the fiery music of Spanish violin virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate. “I’ll be playing his Introduction and Tarantella and the Romanza Andaluza, Op. 22, No.1, works that I’ve also recently performed with two flamenco guitarists who played a transcription of the piano part.”

Fain’s appearance with the Slee Sinfonietta on Tuesday, October 26, will also mark the Buffalo area debut of the internationally touring young German conductor Matthias Pintscher. Hailed as the most exciting young German conductor now performing, Pintscher has toured extensively throughout Europe, Australia and America, where he has conducted major ensembles such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Pintscher is also an active composer, and Tuesday’s program will include his 2009 composition, songs from Solomon’s garden, featuring bass-baritone Evan Hughes, as well as more familiar works like Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Fain will be the soloist in both the Winter Concerto from The Seasons by Vivaldi (is it that time of year, already?) and the Red Violin Suite by John Corigliano. “I have a particular fondness for the Red Violin Suite, perhaps even more so than for the Red Violin Concerto, which uses some of the same material,” Fain said. “I’ve worked together with John Corigliano on the piece ever since I had dinner with him at his apartment, about three or four years ago. John is a very sociable person, but he needs complete isolation in order to work, so he composes at his place in the country.”

Fain is currently working with the composer Philip Glass on his new, eight-movement work for solo violin, inspired by the music of J. S. Bach. He recently performed the first three movements of the piece at a concert in Sarasota, and is looking forward to a fall premiere of the entire work.

For tickets, call 645-2921. For more information, visit

André Watts opener at Ramsi Tick Series postponed until Monday, November 22

It’s been many years since superstar pianist and Buffalo audience favorite André Watts played a public solo recital in our city. Concert-goers will have the rare opportunity to hear Watts on Monday, November 22, at 7:30pm in the Nichols School Auditorium, when Watts opens the Ramsi P. Tick subscription series. The all Liszt program features the mighty Sonata in B Minor, as well as a few Liszt rarities. Watts burst upon the national scene 45 years ago, when Leonard Bernstein asked the then 16-year -old to substitute for an ailing Glenn Gould in a performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic. The rest, as they say, is history, and Watts has been thrilling audiences worldwide ever since. This concert will sell out, so if you would like ticket information, please call soon: 759-4778.

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