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Violin soloist dazzles Maryland Symphony audience

November 19, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

HAGERSTOWN

It's not quite clear which was more dizzying to watch, violinist Timothy Fain's nimble fingers during his solo, or the way Fain dipped, swayed and swung as he played.

"He was great," said Frank Rohland of Williamsport, who saw Fain perform with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra on Sunday at The Maryland Theatre.

"His interpretation of Prokofiev, I enjoyed it. Sometimes it was a bit exaggerated, how he moved, but his emotion, it was great."

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Fain, who played his solo from memory, led Sergey Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1 in D Major, Op. 19 during the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's MasterWorks II concerts this weekend.

The orchestra opened with selections from George Frederic Handel's "Water Music" and ended the show with Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F. Major, Op. 93.

Sunday's concert capped a three-night run, with the final performances Saturday and Sunday at The Maryland Theatre. MasterWorks II debuted in Frederick, Md., on Friday.

The next concert in the MasterWorks series is scheduled Feb. 16 and 17, and will feature oboist Fatma Daglar.

Elizabeth Schulze, MSO's conductor and music director, said she chose the pieces by Handel, Prokofiev and Beethoven because they all had a repetitive rhythmic quality and contained references to past musical eras.

Fain's kinetic take on Prokofiev, the Russian composer behind "Peter and the Wolf," was one of the show's many highlights, piquing the interest of several of Sunday's younger attendees.

"I think it's really inspiring to see all these professional musicians," said Nicole Vere, a 16-year-old viola player from North Hagerstown High School.

She said she hopes to be like Fain one day.

Mary Schultz, an 18-year-old violinist and senior at North High, said she had never heard of Fain and didn't know much about Prokofiev before she came to Sunday's concert.

"I've heard Handel, I've heard Beethoven, but Prokofiev is the one I've heard the least of," Schultz said.

Fain, a 20-something California native living in New York City, said Prokofiev was one of his childhood favorites.

"I think I was 10 when I first heard it and I told my violin teacher that I had to play it," said Fain during a preconcert discussion.

For Jean Lengel, of Waynesboro, Pa., the MSO's performance of Beethoven was the highlight.

"I'm not a big Prokofiev fan," Lengel said.

Schulze said the orchestra sought to play Beethoven's eighth symphony the way Beethoven would have done it - fast.

"Over the centuries, people have tried to make it something it's not," Schulze said. "They play it slower so that it sounds more grandiose, more like his seventh symphony."

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