Violins of Hope

 

“Wherever there were violins, there was hope.” – James A. Grymes, author of Violins of Hope

Violins of Hope is a unique project inspired by a private collection of violins, violas and cellos lovingly restored over the past two decades by Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein. The instruments all belonged to Jews who played them before and during the Holocaust. Many were donated by or bought from survivors; some arrived through family members and many simply carry Stars of David as a decoration and an identity tag declaring: “We were played by proud people.” These precious instruments can now be heard again even though their former owners were silenced.

Music of Remembrance will bring a quartet of the Violins of Hope instruments to Seattle for a special narrated concert at Benaroya Hall on March 1, featuring the core members of the Music of Remembrance ensemble, all members of the Seattle Symphony. These artists will be performing on the Holocaust-era Violins of Hope instruments in a program of music by composers lost to the Holocaust. The Violins of Hope visit in 2020 will mark an important milestone, 75 years after the defeat of the Third Reich. Even as the number of living survivors continues to dwindle, Violins of Hope helps to keep stories and memories alive.

Program

Miecysclaw Weinberg Aria, op. 9 (1942)

Mikhail Shmidt and Natasha Bazhanov, violins; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

 

Hans Krása Dance (Terezin, 1943)

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

 

David Beigelman Dybbuk Dances (Lodz Ghetto, 1941)

Natasha Bazhanov and Artur Girsky, violins

 

Erwin Schulhoff Five Pieces for String Quartet (1923)

Mikhail Shmidt and Natasha Bazhanov, violins; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

 

Gideon Klein String Trio (Terezin, 1944)

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

 

Betty Olivero "Zeks Yiddishe Lider un Tantz" from The Golem (1997)

Laura DeLuca, clarinet soloist

 Mikhail Shmidt and Artur Girsky, violins; Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola; Walter Gray, cello

Learn more about the Violins of Hope project and our Bay Area partner, Music at Kohl Mansion in the video below:
 

Amnon Weinstein
"We were played by proud people."
Music of Remembrance String Quartet