• Press Release

Virginia Arts Festival Presents Violins of Hope

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Samuel C. Johnson Theater, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk



Words and Image courtesy of the Virginia Arts Festival.


Co-presented with the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater Hosted by Norfolk Academy


Virginia Arts Festival will present a concert on October 6 that showcases instruments that echo with history and hope, when violins recovered from the Holocaust will be used in a performance including works by some Jewish composers who languished and died in World War II Nazi concentration camps. “These violins are the voices of gifted musicians and some composers who were victims of the Holocaust,” said Virginia Arts Festival Perry Artistic Director Robert W. Cross. “They represent the incredible courage of a generation decimated by war and hate. It is an honor to hear them play.” A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, the Violins of Hope comprise a collection of instruments that tell remarkable stories of the defiance, resilience, and legacy of Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein has spent the last two decades locating and restoring violins that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. He dedicates this important work to relatives he never knew. These grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins remained in Eastern Europe when Weinstein’s parents, Moshe and Golda, immigrated in 1938 to Palestine, where Moshe opened a violin shop. After the war, Moshe learned that his entire family—400 in all—had been murdered during the Holocaust. After becoming one of the most respected violin makers in the world, Amnon determined to reclaim his lost heritage. He started locating violins that were played by Jews in the camps and ghettos, painstakingly piecing them back together so they could be brought to life again on the concert stage. Although most of the musicians who originally played the instruments were silenced in the Holocaust, their voices and spirits live on through the violins that Amnon has lovingly restored. He calls these instruments the Violins of Hope. The Virginia Arts Festival concert featuring some of these violins is just one part of a regional tour - Violins of Hope Richmond - showcasing these instruments of inspiration. Richmond’s Virginia Holocaust Museum will host an exhibition of some of the violins August 4-October 24, 2021. Companion exhibitions of the violins will be on display at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture and the Black History Museum & Culture Center of Virginia. Violins of Hope Concert Amanda Gates, violin Elizabeth Coulter Vonderheide, violin Jocelyn Smith, viola Peter Greydanus, cello


Program:

Gideon Klein, String Trio for viola and cello Beethoven, String Trio No. 4 in D major, Op. 9 No. 2 Viktor Ullmann, String Quartet No. 3, Op. 46 Norfolk Academy Wednesday, October 6, 2021, 7:30pm

Information and tickets available at vafest.org. Tickets $25, Students Under 25, $10

About the Virginia Arts Festival

Since 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival has transformed the cultural scene in southeastern Virginia, presenting great performers from around the world to local audiences and making this historic, recreation-rich region a cultural destination for visitors from across the United States and around the world. The Festival has presented numerous U.S. and regional premieres, and regularly commissions new works of music, dance, and theater from some of today’s most influential composers, choreographers and playwrights. The Festival’s arts education programs reach tens of thousands of area schoolchildren each year through student matinees, in-school performances, artists’ residencies, master classes and demonstrations.

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