In 1996, Israeli master violinmaker Amnon Weinstein began to collect and carefully restore violins that had extraordinary histories of suffering, courage, and resiliency. These violins are precious artifacts from one of the greatest human tragedies. Some were played by Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps; others belonged to the Klezmer musical culture, which was all but destroyed in the Holocaust.
Today, Amnon receives visitors bearing priceless instruments in shambles. The restoration process is complex, sometimes taking years to revive a single instrument. But when a violinist moves his bow across one of these instruments, the message resounds.
A project of national significance comes to Charlotte in April 2012
The Violins of Hope have never before been exhibited or played together in North or South America. With the support of the Charlotte community and our partners in the arts and education, the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte presents a project that promises to inspire, illuminate, and educate.
In April 2012, UNC Charlotte's College of Arts + Architecture will bring Violins of Hope to Charlotte for a series of exhibitions and performances focused on 18 instruments recovered from the Holocaust. Acclaimed musicians from across the country and around the world will play alongside Charlotte musicians, giving voice to the violins' former owners and expressing the hope that comes with restoring to these instruments the power to play again.