Violins of Hope comes to Cleveland

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The Jewish Federation of Cleveland is thrilled to be partnering with Case Western Reserve University, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Cleveland Orchestra, ideastream, and the Cleveland Institute of Music for Violins of Hope. We hope you enjoy the article below by WKYC about the violins’ exhibit at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Article reprinted with permission from WKYC

Dawn Kendrick and WKYC Staff, WKYC

CLEVELAND -- It’s a collection of instruments that has an inspiring connection to history and to the people who played them.

And for the next few months they are here in Cleveland. Dawn Kendrick has the story behind the Violins of Hope.

These remarkable violins have survived the test of time as testimony to the Jewish people who faced the Holocaust during World War 2. Their music gave a small amount of comfort to those in concentration camps. Today, the violins survive because of the work of Amnon Weinstein, a master violinmaker from Tel Aviv.

“I want to find any violin in the world that has a story to tell. And put them in conditions that they can tell the story,” violinmaker Amnon Weinstein told WKYC’s Dawn Kendrick.

“Violins of Hope” can be seen at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Nineteen violins are on display, each requiring painstaking work to restore.

“The biggest restoration was one year and a half from shreds of pieces of wood. Then it is usually 3 to 6 months. It’s huge work,” Amnon said.

Amnon’s son, Avshi also restores instruments for the collection. That has grown to 60 violins.

Avshi Weinstein noted that “As many instruments as you see here there are many more which we will not have and many more players we will never hear their stories.”

The Cleveland Orchestra recently held a Violins of Hope concert, for the opening of Silver Hall in the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center.

The programs surrounding the violins' Cleveland visit are the most extensive to date for the collection, which makes Amnon very thankful.

Weinstein speaks highly of Cleveland saying, “I’ve been telling it to every one and I will tell it also to you. Cleveland is crazy, on the good way. This is the most important project on violins in this century.”

If you want to hear the Violins of Hope, the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra will present a free, community concert at Severance Hall this Wednesday.

For more information on the Violins of Hope visit the projects website.

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