Famed violinist to visit UND

STRINGS Musician Tim Fain stops in Grand Forks to play concert, teach students.


Violinist Tim Fain will be in Grand Forks this week to meet with UND students and perform a concert with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra on Saturday.  He is known for his work on film soundtracks and other projects. Photo submitted. 

Violinist Tim Fain has performed all over the world and in the soundtracks for various Hollywood blockbusters. This weekend, he’ll be performing right here in Grand Forks.

Fain will be featured in “The Virtuoso Violin” concert with the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m Saturday at the Empire Arts Center in downtown Grand Forks.

“I’ve played in Fargo before, so I’m really looking forward to coming back,” Fain said. “I’ve never been to Grand Forks.”

While in the area, Fain also will be working with music students at UND and colleges in Fargo.

“I don’t teach regularly, but I love sharing what I’ve learned,” Fain said. “Every day is a process when I learn something new.”

Around the world

Fain has been interested in music for as long as he can remember.

He tried playing other instruments such as piano and drums as a young boy, but felt a special connection to the violin.

“I would say the violin kind of chose me. I just felt a connection, and it felt natural,” Fain said. “I then made it clear to my parents that this was what I wanted to do.”

His passion has literally taken him far — all around the U.S. and the world.

Fain’s most recent international performance was in July in Melbourne, Australia.

“Melbourne was really fun. The people there were great,” Fain said. “The seasons are reversed there, so the temps were in the high 30s.”

Another of Fain’s favorite destinations is Venice, Italy, where he played last December.

He remembers walking around the city alone after his sold-out performance and being shocked at how deserted it looked.

Other ventures

When he’s not performing on international stages, Fain stays busy by playing, arranging, producing and composing music for his albums and for various movies.

He recently performed on the Grammy-nominated  soundtrack for the film “Black Swan.”

“I’ve known the film’s choreographer, Benjamin Millepied, for quite some time, and I remember talking to him about the ‘crazy ballerina thriller horror’ film he was working on,” Fain said. “You never know what will happen but it definitely made a splash. Natalie (Portman) was fantastic.

“It was so cool to see her approach to learning how to dance within six months.”

One of Fain’s latest projects is the Hollywood film “12 Years a Slave,” which is based on the authobiography of an educated African-American man from New York in the 1840s.

The man, named Solomon Northrup, is kidnapped and sold into slavery but later becomes an expert violinist.

Fain co-arranged all the tracks for the main character, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The film will premiere in theaters on Oct. 18. It has already generated a lot of buzz and Fain predicts it will be big.

“I’m very happy with the music in it, especially all the violin acts,” Fain said.

He also is touring around the world for his multimedia “Portals” project, which combines music with dance, film and spoken word.

The tour’s next stop will be  Boston on Oct. 17.

“I wanted to see how many digital aspects could be bought in while having it still be live, since there’s a certain energy from live performances,” Fain said. “You can work digital technology across great distances. Now is a great time to be a musician.”

Jaye Millspaugh is the multimedia editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]