Steeg Law is delighted to shine the community spotlight on Violins of Hope.
This past January, The National WWII Museum in partnership with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra held two concerts by Violins of Hope in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023.
Violins of Hope is a project of concerts based on a private collection of violins, violas, and cellos all collected since the end of World War II. Many of the instruments belonged to Jews before and during the war. Many were donated by or bought from survivors; some arrived through family members and many simply carry Stars of David as a decoration.
Israeli Master Violin-maker Amnon Weinstein is involved in initiating and promoting concerts and educational projects concerning violins around the world. He and his son Avshalom have lovingly restored the instruments so that the sound is worthy of the world’s best musicians and large music halls.
Managing Partner Rob Steeg was privileged to attend both concerts in New Orleans. He reports that “the first concert was held in the Orpheum Theatre and featured the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, with a stirring solo by Philip Quint, and a pre-concert conversation with Avshalom Weinstein, who discussed the passion and purpose behind his family’s loving restoration of the Holocaust violins. The second Louisiana Philharmonic concert, at The National WWII Museum, included the music from Schindler’s List, and afforded the opportunity to see some of the violins in person — with the realization of whom they originally belonged to, and the fate that befell those owners. They were two very moving experiences.”
These priceless instruments were on display in the museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center from January 24 to January 28, 2023. There were also lectures to learn more about the work the Weinstein family has done to ensure that these instruments are used as an educational resource and memorial for generations to come.
The Violins of Hope collection now consists of over 60 instruments, each with a story and history. One violin was thrown out of a cattle train on way from France to Auschwitz. Another was buried under the snow in Holland. And yet another saved the lives of people who played in a camp orchestra and survived.
The instruments have been used in concerts held throughout the world, including in Jerusalem, Istanbul, Paris, London, Rome, and several cities in the United States, where they have been exhibited and played in synagogues, churches, universities and symphony concert halls. Every concert brings together people of all faiths and backgrounds. Every project is accompanied by an extensive educational program.
As noted on the Violins of Hope website, “All instruments have a common denominator: they are symbols of hope and a way to say: remember me, remember us. Life is good, celebrate it for those who perished, for those who survived. For all people.”