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Holocaust and Humanity Center brings ‘Violins of Hope’ to Music Hall for special performance


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On Tuesday, January 23, members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will participate in a special performance presented by the Holocaust and Humanity Center at Music Hall. “Violins of Hope” is a traveling exhibition of violins that survived the Holocaust. Many of the violins were owned by victims of concentration camps or were even played in the camps, providing a source of solace in the midst of horror. The traveling exhibition to view the violins will be in Cincinnati for a short time, highlighted by the January 23 performance. Evans Mirageas, Artistic Director for the Cincinnati Opera, is curating the event. 

“The emotional power of The Violins of Hope is hard to put into words,” said Mr. Mirageas. “These instruments that bore witness to unimaginable horrors have somehow survived and their revived sounds in the hands of today’s musicians are the greatest testament to the immortal power of music. It has been an honor to work with the Holocaust and Humanity Center in bringing this amazing constellation of musicians together to remember the sacrifice of millions and the miraculous survival of Henry Meyer, honored as part of this event.”

Henry Meyer, a survivor of the Holocaust, was able to rebuild his life through music, and he taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music for over 50 years before his death in 2006. The performance will honor Mr. Meyer.

Members of the CSO will join more of the region’s finest musicians in this inspiring event bringing together organizations from around the community. The musicians will play on eight Holocaust-era violins, with the story of each violin carefully woven into the concert. Other featured artists include CSO violin soloists Kathryn Woolley and Stefani Collins Matsuo, Eckart Preu with members of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Ilya Finkelshteyn, Michael Chertock, Giora Schmidt, Elena Kholodova, Simon Barrad, Kseniia Polstiankina, and Ariel Quartet members Gershon Gerchikov and Alexandra Kazovsky.

The exhibition has received national att ention, including PBS NewsHour, CBS Sunday Morning and The Huffington Post. It started with Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein, who began receiving Holocaustera violins for restoration. Seeing these instruments as symbols of hope and resistance, they began to play in concerts around the world.

“When we heard that the Holocaust and Humanity Center was displaying this collection of treasured instruments in Cincinnati we instantly knew that we had to be a part. We are so proud to have Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra musicians bringing these violins to life for all of Cincinnati to hear,” said Ahmad Mayes, the CSO’s Director of Education and Community Engagement.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit
holocaustandhumanity.org/violins-of-hope.