Ron Galperin Named Honorary Chairman of Violins of Hope
Four symphonic orchestras, a major museum and one of Los Angeles' leading performing arts centers will join forces in 2020 for an ambitious collaborative initiative that will bring to life the sounds of music once lost.
Violins of Hope is an internationally renowned project created to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit. At the heart of Violins of Hope is a collection of over 60 stringed instruments rescued from the Holocaust and restored by second-generation violinmaker, Amnon Weinstein, and his son, Avshalom, in their shop in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Now, this unique collection will come to Los Angeles for the first time March 22 to April 26, 2020, for a month-long series of concerts, exhibits, and student educational programming at several Los Angeles cultural institutions.
"On behalf of the city of Los Angeles, it is an honor to join The Soraya and the many Los Angeles partners for Violins of Hope," said L.A. Controller, Ron Galperin, Violins of Hope Honorary Committee Chair. "This coming January marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and this is an opportunity to honor the millions of victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Violins of Hope will remind us all of the strength of the human spirit and the power of hope and music."
Each concert in the Violins of Hope series will feature performers and soloists using instruments from the Weinstein's collection. The Soraya's Artist in Residence and Northridge native Niv Ashkenazi, the only individual musician in North American entrusted with one of the collection's rescued violins, will take the storied instruments on a tour to Los Angeles area schools in the months preceding.
"The violin is alive, is existing, and is going to talk to all the world. Each violin like that you are going to play, it's for millions of people that are dead. That is victory. And each concert is victory!" said Amnon Weinstein.
Susanne Reyto is the Chair of Violins of Hope, Los Angeles County and is responsible for working with Weinstein to bring the violins to the region.
"With three generations born since the end of the Holocaust, how do we keep alive the memories of those who perished? Each instrument of the Violins of Hope shares a common past from this chapter in human history, but more so, each violin embodies a personal story," said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya. "Some were once played on the streets in the hands of klezmer musicians, and some held pedigrees in world-class concert halls. To experience firsthand their resonance, musical and historical alike, creates an immediate connection to our collective past."
Violins of Hope has been featured in the documentary, Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust, and a book Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust-Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind's Darkest Hour