With his adventuresome spirit and vast musical gifts, violinist Tim Fain has emerged as a mesmerizing presence on the music scene. The “charismatic violinist with a matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts, and first rate chops” (Boston Globe), was seen on screen and heard on the Grammy nominated soundtrack to the film Black Swan, can be heard on the soundtrack to Moonlight and gave “voice” to the violin of the lead actor in the hit film 12 Years a Slave, as he did with Richard Gere’s violin in the film Bee Season. Fain captured the Avery Fisher Career Grant and launched his career with Young Concert Artists.
He electrified audiences in performances with the Pittsburgh, Chautauqua, and Cabrillo and Baltimore (both with Marin Alsop) Symphonies, at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and most recently with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Fain has also appeared with the Mexico City, Tucson, Oxford (UK), and Cincinnati Chamber Symphonies, Brooklyn, Buffalo and Hague Philharmonics, National Orchestra of Spain (with conductor Dennis Russell Davies), 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 continues to tour the US and Europe in a duo-recital program with Philip Glass.
Fain has been heard in recital at the Ravinia Festival, Amsterdam’s venerable Concertgebouw, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, Mexico’s Festival de Musica de Camara in San Miguel de Allende, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, California’s Carmel Mozart Society, Boston’s Ives Festival, The Broad Stage, Ringling International Festival in Sarasota, the San Diego Art Institute, the University of California at Davis, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St Y, the Canberra Festival (Australia), in solo appearances for the Dalai Lama and at the Vatican, and elsewhere across the globe. A sought-after chamber musician, he recently performed at the Filharmonia Szczecin's MDF Festival (Poland), the Scotia Festival in Halifax (Canada), and has performed at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York’s Bargemusic, Chamber Music Northwest, and at the Spoleto (Italy), Bridgehampton, Santa Fe, Caramoor, Bard, Lucerne (Switzerland), “Bravo” Vail Valley, Moab, and Martha’s Vineyard Festivals, and has toured nationally with Musicians from Marlboro.
His multi-media evening Portals premiered to sold-out audiences in New York, Los Angeles and at its Midwestern premiere at Omaha’s KANEKO, and has been seen at Australia’s Melbourne Festival, Le Lieu Unique in France and continues to travel world-wide. The centerpiece of the evening is Partita for Solo Violin, a new work written especially for him by Philip Glass, and also features collaborations with Benjamin Millepied, Leonard Cohen, film maker Kate Hackett, and with radio personality Fred Child and pianist and composer Nicholas Britell appearing on screen. It also includes music of Pulitzer Prize winners Kernis, Bolcom, and Puts along with works of Muhly, and Zhurbin. A second iteration of Portals in collaboration with pianist Simone Dinnerstein is currently underway featuring a newly commissioned work by Bryce Dessner.
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, his career “is based, in part, on new music and new ways of thinking about classical music.” Fain’s discography features River of Light (Naxos), which showcases modern virtuosic short works for violin and piano by living American composers; Arches, which reflects Fain’s inquisitive passion and intellect and combining old and new solo works; and The Concerto Project IV with the Hague Philharmonic featuring Philip Glass’s Double Concerto for violin and cellist Wendy Sutter, and most recently Tim Fain Plays Philip Glass (both on Orange Mountain Music), and First Loves, with repertoire he fell in love with as a child from Sarasate to Wieniawski.
Fain has collaborated with an eclectic array of artists from Pinchas Zukerman and Richard Goode, to Jean-Yves Thibaudet to Mitsuko Uchida, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Seán Curran Company, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and appeared onstage with the New York City Ballet, performing alongside the dancers in the acclaimed premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s “Double Aria.” He has also worked with jazz pianists Billy Childs and Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus), Joanna Newsom, Bryce Dessner (The National), guitarist Rich Robinson (Black Crowes), appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center with singer-songwriter Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty), and collaborated with James Blake, and rappers Das Racist and Rahzel.
Always at the forefront of technology, Fain has worked on a number of boundary-pushing projects including a musical score for a new Virtual Reality TV series through Samsung and a collaboration with Google on a VR music video for his composition, Resonance, which introduced its 360 stereoscopic VR capability for YouTube to the world, subsequently shown at The Sundance Film Festival. He also composed music for a virtual experience, Flock, which premiered at The Future of Storytelling in NYC; collaborated with new media artist Alexander Green on an LED light installation project which was the subject of a documentary featured on BBC and PBS; and performed with Shimon, an improvising, marimba-playing AI robot.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Tim Fain is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Victor Danchenko, and The Juilliard School, where he worked with Robert Mann. He performs on a violin made by Francesco Gobetti, Venice 1717, the “Moller,” on extended loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
January 2019 – please discard any previously dated materials