The Bach Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin is one of the major rites of passage for any aspiring violinist. A suite of dances comprising five movements, it culminates in the famous Chaconne, a tour de force that demands not only endurance — it goes on for some 15 minutes of unrelieved solo virtuosity — but the ability to make the whole thing sound easy, as critics are always on the lookout for the artist's ability to transcend the work's notorious technical difficulties. But young violin superstar Tim Fain can pull this off with nary a worry. Sporting a casual wardrobe and straggly locks that fall boyishly over his forehead, the dreamy Fain keeps the critics gushing over his “technical finesse, lyrical ardor and cagey control.” While he's a master of traditional violin repertoire, Fain is always busy promoting new and unconventional works, and this week he displays his versatile virtuosity in a quirky program that includes the Chaconne, Michael Shapiro's Peace Variations and Philip Glass's “Knee 2” from Einstein on the Beach and “I Enjoyed the Laughter” from Book of Longing (2007). “What excites me is connecting the present to the past,” Fain says. “Being able to perform Bach and being able to perform Barber or Richard Danielpour, and being able to do that well — I mean, it's all music, you know?”

Sun., Jan. 16, 2 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly