Timothy Fain and Adam Neiman were featured soloists performing with world-class symphonies before they were old enough to drive. While he was still a teen-ager, Japanese marimba virtuoso Makoto Nakura was described as "superhuman" by one critic.
This winter, these young artists will teach and perform in Juneau. The first in a series of concerts and workshops by up-and-coming young artists begins Monday with violinist Timothy Fain.
"He's handsome, he's young, he's hot. He's a professional musician," said Sybil Davis of the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, which is sponsoring the series.
Fain will perform Bach's "A Minor Concerto" at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Northern Light United Church. He'll work with the Juneau-Douglas High School Orchestra Monday, and the group will join him onstage for the performance.
Fain is also teaching master classes to young Juneau violinists Monday night, and will be teaching and demonstrating at both Juneau middle schools Tuesday. Davis worked with Juneau School District and community music teachers and members of the Juneau Symphony to arrange the series. The goal is to inspire and influence Juneau's young musicians.
"It's such a critical age -- and to be in the presence of real excellence shows you what it is," said Davis. "It's something to aspire to."
Davis set up the series with a New York-based nonprofit group called Young Concert Artists. The agency represents and nutures promising young artists. Founded in 1961, it is dedicated to discovering and launching the careers of young musicians. The artists are chosen based on their musicianship, virtuosity, communicative power and readiness for a concert career. Young Concert Artists provides ongoing support and opportunities, including the booking of concert engagements, publicity and career guidance.
"These musicians have played international competitions and have been very successful," Davis said.
Fain grew up in Santa Monica, Calif., and has performed with symphonies across North America. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in 1998 from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree on scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music. He is in the midst of an international tour.
Pianist Adam Neiman, 20, is the youngest of the three and will be coming in January. Nieman joined the Young Concert Artists roster when he was just 17. He has performed with orchestras across America, Europe and Japan.
Born in Hayward, Calif., Neiman played his first piano concerto with orchestra at the age of 9 at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. He went on to win a series of prestigious competitions while still a teen-ager and last year at age 19 earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Juilliard School of Music.
Marimbist Makoto Nakura came from his native Japan in 1994 to become the first marimbist to win a place on the Young Concert Artists roster. He was already a great success in Asia, where a Hong Kong critic reported that "Nakura plays the marimba with superhuman energy, technique and fireworks that left the audience gasping for more."
Nakura has performed for audiences in Japan, China and in 35 states. His visit to Juneau will coincide with the statewide high school music festival in April.
Davis said the series was made possible by a grant from Royal Caribbean. The cost of the Tuesday concert is $10, $8 for students.