March 13, 2017 Israeli Violinmaker Amnon Weinstein to Speak on "The Violins of Hope" March 23

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Amnon Weinstein, an Israeli violinmaker whose project “Violins of Hope,” locating and restoring violins played by Jewish victims of the Holocaust to commemorate their lives and bring hope to new generations, will speak about the project at the Library of Congress on Thursday, March 23 at noon. As part of the presentation, internationally known violinist Hannah Tarley will play musical selections on one of the restored violins.

Weinstein has spent two decades finding and restoring violins played by Jewish musicians in concentration camps and ghettos during the Holocaust. He dedicates his work to 400 relatives he never knew. In 1938, Weinstein’s parents emigrated to Palestine, where his father had a violin shop. But his father learned after WWII that 400 members of his family had lost their lives during the Holocaust.

After becoming renowned as a violinmaker, Weinstein set out to reclaim his family heritage by finding, restoring, and bringing new musical life to the instruments of these Jewish forebears. During the Holocaust, some Jewish violinists’ lives were spared because of their ability to play, while for others, the sound of violin music provided solace or a touchstone of their faith. “Wherever there were violins, there was hope,” Weinstein said. He has dubbed his work, which has been the subject of a book, a film documentary, an exhibition at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland and a concert by the Cleveland Orchestra, “The Violins of Hope.”

Weinstein’s talk and Tarley’s performance will take place in the Library’s Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of its James Madison Building at 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The program is free and open to the public; tickets are not needed, but seating is limited.

The program is sponsored by the Library’s European Division and the Hebrew Language Table in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Rabin Chair Forum at George Washington University.

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PR 17-032
ISSN 0731-3527