by Daniel Hathaway
What may be the largest group of Cleveland cultural institutions ever to circle their wagons around a single project will come into play this fall when Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Cleveland Orchestra, Facing History and Ourselves, Ideastream, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage join together to present Violins of Hope Cleveland.
Four months of concerts, exhibitions, screenings, lectures, theatrical productions, and educational offerings will center around the extraordinary collection of violins amassed by Tel Aviv violinmaker Amnon Weinstein, instruments that managed to survive the Holocaust.
Weinstein, who emigrated from Eastern Europe to open a violin shop in Palestine in 1938, learned after World War II that some four hundred of his family members had perished under the Nazis. Later, he heard a heartfelt account from a survivor who had brought an instrument in for restoration of what the violin and its music had meant to Jews during those horrific days. In 1996 — and now recognized as one of the finest violinmakers in the world — Weinstein decided to put out a call for Holocaust-era violins. To date, he has restored nearly fifty such instruments to playing condition, a collection he dubbed “Violins of Hope.” [Read more…]