A project of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, Violins of Hope tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Each violin has its own unique and inspiring story that educates both young and old about the Holocaust in a deeply personal and emotional way.
Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein has devoted the last 20 years to locating and restoring the violins of the Holocaust as a tribute to those who were lost, including 400 of his own relatives. Weinstein has restored more than 60 violins as a way to reclaim his lost heritage, give a voice to the victims, and reinforce positive messages of hope and harmony.
Violins of Hope offers many events around the Valley from Feb. 3-March 26, including lectures, films, exhibits and more. Those taking place in the Central Phoenix area include:
• “Defiance Through Art,” performed by the Arizona Opera, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Heard Museum Steele Auditorium, 2301 N. Central Ave. The program will feature operatic selections from Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis) and an original piece, “Friedl.” The evening culminates with the story of the Bielski Family as told by Assiela Bielski Weinstein. Admission is free, and doors open at 7 p.m. To RSVP, visit https://www.azopera.org/upcoming-events, and go to Feb. 19.
• American Songbook, 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20, Phoenix Art Museum’s Whiteman Hall, 1625 N. Central Ave. A concert featuring pianist Elizabeth Pridonoff and violinist Steven Moeckel playing a selection of music including Copeland, Gershwin, Bloch, and Shoenfeld. Free for museum members, $5 for non-members, not including museum admission. Visit http://www.phxart.org and find Feb. 20 on the Events Calendar.
• Stories & Music of Hope: A Community Concert presented by Rosie’s House and Violins of Hope, 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3 at Rosie’s House, 1875 N. Central Ave. Not only will you hear hopeful and inspiring stories about these special violins, but you will hear musical performances from Rosie’s House students and musicians from the Downtown Chamber Series. While attendance is free, seating is limited and pre-registration is required. Visit https://rosieshouse.org and select “Special Events” under the Events tab.
• “Amnon Weinsten, The Man Behind the Music,” photo exhibit, Feb. 3-March 27, Cutler-Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center, 122 E. Culver St. Photographer Daniel Levin travelled to Israel to capture intimate images of Amnon Weinstein, the man behind Violins of Hope, as he lovingly restores and gives new voice to these stringed instruments that survived the Holocaust, even when their owners perished. Exhibit hours are 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 602-241-7870.
For more information about Violins of Hope events, visit https://violinsofhopephoenix.com/.