The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Presents “Violins of Hope” February 1-16 at various locations

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The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee Presents

“Violins of Hope”

February 1-16 at various locations

In 1996, Israeli master violinmaker Amnon Weinstein began to collect and restore violins that had extraordinary histories of suffering, courage, and resiliency. Weinstein is bringing 16 of these violins to the Sarasota-Manatee area for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community to hear these violins played and to experience the stories of their owners through concerts, talks, and school outreach programs.

 

(Sarasota-Manatee) 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. Weinstein has dedicated his life to locating and restoring violins that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, so that they can give voice to the voiceless—their owners and the millions who perished at the hands of the Nazis. He calls these instruments the “Violins of Hope,” in the belief that, where there was music, there was hope.

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Mazur Family Fund are bringing Weinstein and 16 of these violins to the Sarasota-Manatee area, February 1-16. Numerous community events featuring live music by members of the Sarasota Orchestra, alumni from The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast and State College of Florida’s Presidential String Quartet are scheduled during the three-week event. (A full schedule of events open to the public is included below.) An extensive in-school outreach program for hundreds of students from area schools, including those from St. Martha’s Catholic School, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Manatee High School, Braden River High School, Riverview High School, Sarasota High School, Booker High School, Venice High School, Pine View and North Port High School is also planned.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to hear these violins played and to experience the stories behind them,” says Howard Tevlowitz, JFSM’s executive director.

“We’re especially pleased that hundreds of area students will have the chance to participate in the program. When young people hear that six million Jewish people were murdered in the Holocaust—that can be an abstract fact to digest. But each violin represents one life, one story; it’s not a cold statistic,” says Tevlowitz. “Music was a source of hope and resistance—a way for the Jews to express themselves and prevent the Nazis from stripping them of their humanity. These stories are powerful connections to the individual human lives of that time. They also remind us of the indomitable human spirit.”

For tickets and more information, visit https://jfedsrq.org/violins-of-hope or call 1-866-465-3995. For more information about Violins of Hope, visit www.violinsofhopecle.org.

 

Violins of Hope: Public Events

  • February 6, 7 p.m.: A Conversation with Amnon Weinstein and James Grymes. Amnon Weinstein and  James A. Grymes, author of “Violins of Hope,” will explore the complex role that the Violins of Hope served during the Holocaust. Audiences will have an opportunity to hear a violin played by alumni from the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast. Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota. $12.50 in advance; $15 at door.
  • February 7, 10:30 a.m.: A Conversation with Amnon Weinstein and James Grymes. Amnon Weinstein and  James A. Grymes, author of “Violins of Hope,” will explore the complex role that the Violins of Hope played during the Holocaust. Audiences will have an opportunity to hear a violin played by alumni from the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast. Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key. $12.50 in advance; $15 at door.
  • February 9, 7:30 p.m.: A Celebration of Jewish Broadway. The Presidential String Quartet of State College of Florida, with featured soloist Neyce Pierre of the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, will perform selections from Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen and others. The Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida, 5840 26th Street West, Bradenton. $10 in advance; $15 at door.
  • February 13, 7 p.m.: Music and the Eternal Spirit. Audiences will have the opportunity to hear the Violins of Hope, featuring the music of Beethoven, Shostakovich and others. Performed by Perlman Music Program/Suncoast Alumni violinists Niv Ashkenazi and Hannah Tarley, accompanied by pianist Matthew Graybil. First United Methodist Church, 104 S Pineapple Ave, Sarasota. $12.50 in advance; $15 at door.
  • February 16, 7 p.m.: Closing Night with a Farewell Dessert Reception. Audiences will have the opportunity to hear the Violins of Hope, featuring the music of Ernest Bloch, Max Bruch and others. Performed by Perlman Music Program/Suncoast Alumni violinists Niv Ashkenazi and Hannah Tarley, accompanied by pianist Matthew Graybil. Temple Beth Sholom, 1050 S Tuttle Ave, Sarasota. $12.50 in advance; $15 at door.

For tickets and more information, visit https://jfedsrq.org/violins-of-hope or call 1-866-465-3995.

 

About The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen Jewish life and identity in the Sarasota-Manatee community, provide for Jewish people in need, and to promote support for Israel. In addition, the Federation is responsive when worldwide catastrophes occur. For more information, call 941-371-4546 or visit www.jfedsrq.org.

 

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