'A human testimony that brings all people together, bearing the unspoken silence of ‘never again.'
Violins of Hope is a story of contrasts: of sadness and joy, of darkness and light, of despair and hope. It’s a legacy of a lost generation rescued from oblivion. A fascinating voyage of a man who searched the entire world to find the instruments of people that had lost their lives in the Second World War. It took Amnon Weinstein, Master Violin Maker of Tel Aviv, more than 16 years of iron perseverance to bring these instruments and their forgotten histories back to life. Today their sounds are a bright flame and inspiration to their successors.
Many personal stories were collected. Violins that saved lives and violins that were lost. Violins that tell a story of revenge and violins that remain silent, having disappeared without a trace. In this painful chapter of history these instruments played a role that was never shared in the past. Amnon Weinstein felt that it was time to make the voice of a lost generation heard.
So far Amnon Weinstein has restored 26 violins. Many of them were played in concentration camps and ghettos. There are violins used by Klezmer musicians that are dating back to the early 19th century. Most of them were in terrible condition and needed extensive time and perseverance: a true labor of dedication and love.
"One of the most important violins I have is decorated with five Stars of David. I received it in a nylon bag; it was in pieces. The restoration took one and a half years. Every violin has a story to tell. Many of them saved musicians’ lives."
Shlomo performed Vivaldi Four Seasons, May 15 in Warsaw
and the Brahms Violin Concerto, May 17 in Bydgoszcz.
Shlomo plays and conducts the Bach Violin Concertos 1 & 2 at Istanbul Festival, June 18 with the Cameristi della Scala.
Shlomo will perform the Tchaikovsky concerto and Bloch's Baal Shem together with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti, as part of a Violins of Hope event.
Sunday May 5, 19:30 pm, Grimaldi Forum
Shlomo plays the Mendelssohn Concerto together with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and conductor Işın Metin at Mersin Music Festival, Turkey.
Friday, Mersin Cultural Center, May 10
Listen on YouTube.
One in a series of radio programs titled "For the Love of Music," hosted by David Dubal on WNCN-FM, New York.