Benefit concert for violinist after stroke
Slava Fainitski has been playing violin for 46 years of his life.
But a stroke earlier this year left the 53-year-old Wellington violinist unable to do the thing he loves.
On Saturday he attended his first concert since the stroke - a benefit put on by his friends and colleagues at the Wellington Orchestra.
Faintiski has been recovering at Kenepuru Community Hospital since the stroke, which affected the left side of his body and his ability to play.
Cellist Brenton Veitch, who plays in the Orchestra Wellington and has known Slava for about 30 years, said he was a lovely person and the orchestra wants to help him in any way it can.
‘‘It is a devastating thing to occur, to suddenly not be able to do the thing you love.
‘‘We want to give Slava all the support so he can get back and play music again.’’
Veitch says he was rehearsing with Fainitski the week he had the stroke.
They were due to play in their Tango band on the weekend.
Veitch regularly visits his friend in hospital and says he is doing better.
He has managed to get movement back in both his legs and his arm.
‘‘They are very pleased with his progess.’’
Fainitski remembers picking up the violin, aged seven, in his native Ukraine after hearing it on the radio.
‘‘We had only one radio station, and mostly they would play classical music and I loved the violin,’’ he says.
‘‘So when I went to school they introduced the violin as an instrument you could play and I told my mum I wanted to learn,’’ he said.
He has been playing ever since.
The orchestra played some of his favourite pieces on Saturday, including Brahms’ Hungarian Dances.
Fainitski says it was a ‘‘terrible’’ feeling not to be able to play.
Slava Fainitski, second from left, with friends, from left, Alexander Gunchenko, Brenton Veitch and Emilio Bertrand.