Avshi Weinstein and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra musicians are available to visit Knoxville-area schools from January 15-25. Avshi’s moving presentation will bring the stories of the violins to life, underscoring themes of tolerance and hope. Performances of selected works on the actual instruments by KSO musicians will give students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the once-silenced violins sing again. To request a visit, please complete this form by November 20th:
From January 4th to the 27th, docent-led tours of the Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust exhibition at the UT Downtown Gallery at 106 S. Gay Street will be available to school groups.
The exhibition, designed by world-renowned architect Louis Emmanuel Gauci, invites visitors to view, learn and contemplate this singular collection of instruments which survived the Holocaust. To make arrangements for a field trip, please contact gallery manager Mike Berry at 865-673-0802 or [email protected] .
Violins of Hope is a cultural and educational initiative organized by the Stanford Eisenberg Knoxville Jewish Day School and inspired by Israeli violin maker Ammon Weinstein and writer Assiela (Bielski) Weinstein. The project will focus on over 50 violins with extraordinary histories connected to the events of the Holocaust. The survival, restoration, and playing of these violins creates the hope on which the project is based and for which it is named. From the amazing stories and sheer beauty of the violins comes the inspiration for musical performances and visual exhibitions, as well as educational initiatives that explore the history and practice of music and art in the face of oppression.
The violin has formed an important aspect of Jewish culture for centuries, both as a popular instrument with classical Jewish musicians and as a central factor of social life, as in the Klezmer tradition. But during the Holocaust, the violin assumed extraordinary roles within the Jewish community. For some musicians, the instrument was a liberator; for others, it was a savior that spared their lives. For many, the violin provided comfort in mankind’s darkest hour, and, in at least one case, helped avenge murdered family members. Above all, the violins of the Holocaust represented strength and optimism for the future.
Today, these instruments serve as powerful reminders of an unimaginable experience—they are memorials to those who perished and testaments to those who survived. In this spirit, renowned Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein has devoted the past twenty years to restoring the violins of the Holocaust as a tribute to those who were lost, National Jewish Book Awards Winner including four hundred of his own relatives. Behind each of these violins is a uniquely fascinating and inspiring story. Juxtaposing these narratives against one man’s harrowing struggle to reconcile his own family’s history and the history of his people, this insightful, moving, and achingly human book presents a new way of understanding the Holocaust.
Learn more about Violins of Hope by James A. Grymes at jamesagrymes.com/about-violins-of-hope/
Additional articles and books on Violins of Hope coming soon...