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Press Releases

Nashville Symphony Brings the Violins of Hope to the U.S.

March 12, 2018 | By Rebecca Davis
Rebecca Davis PR

Collection of instruments that survived the Holocaust serves as springboard for a citywide creative movement and interfaith dialogue led by the Nashville Symphony

Wide-ranging initiative involves 25 partner organizations presenting performances, lectures and the first-ever free public exhibit of the Violins of Hope in the United States

On March 22-24 the Nashville Symphony with Giancarlo Guerrero will present the premiere performances and Naxos recording of Jonathan Leshnoff's Symphony No. 4, "Heichalos," marking the first time the Violins of Hope will be recorded for a commercial album release

NASHVILLE/NEW YORK, NY – March 8, 2018 – Centered around a collection of rare instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, Violins of Hope Nashville is currently under way, with more than 30 events planned between now and June designed to educate and enrich audiences and foster a citywide dialogue about music, art, social justice, equality and free expression.

Presented by the Nashville Symphony and the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, this historic initiative is a partnership among more than 25 local organizations, including the Nashville Public Library, Blair School of Music, Nashville Ballet and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Featured events include musical performances, lectures, exhibits and film screenings.

The catalyst for Violins of Hope Nashville is a collection of 32 instruments owned by Jewish musicians who experienced ghettoization, violence, forced expulsions and unspeakable horrors in Nazi concentration camps. Restored by Israeli luthiers Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, the instruments – which have been the subject of a bestselling book and acclaimed documentary – now stand as symbols of resilience, survival and hope.
“These instruments have a very special history that allows us to use them as a launching point for a community conversation — not just about music and the instruments themselves, but also about social justice and civil rights,” said Steve Brosvik, chief operating officer of the Nashville Symphony who is spearheading the initiative. “The Holocaust is a very distinct moment in time with a message that we have to remember, but genocide and injustice are still occurring in the world right now, and this gives us an opportunity to talk as a community about the ways we can address these issues.”

The Violins of Hope will arrive in Nashville from Israel in mid-March, kicking off a series of events in which the public will be able to see and hear these instruments in person.

The violins, along with one viola and one cello, will be used during the Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series concerts on March 22-24, including selections from John Williams’ score for Schindler’s List, Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and the world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 4, “Heichalos.” This Nashville Symphony commission will be recorded live for future worldwide release, and it marks the first time the Violins of Hope have been used on a commercial recording. Leshnoff will be in Nashville for the performances, as will both Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, who will take part in several community events.


Following the Symphony concerts, the collection will move to the Main Public Library in downtown Nashville for the first-ever free public exhibit of the Violins of Hope in the United States, on view through May 27. Community partners will host related events during the exhibit’s run, many of them free or low-cost.

Additional Nashville Symphony programs related to the initiative include:

  • Composers of Hope, a free concert on March 20 of chamber music by composers who were displaced by the Nazis during the Holocaust – including Hindemith, Tansman and Schulhoff. 
  • Voices of Hope  Choral Festival on March 26, a free event convening student choirs led by internationally renowned Holocaust ethnomusicologist Dr. Tamara Freeman.
  • Israeli-born violinist Pinchas Zukerman performs with Nashville Symphony for the first time since 1999on April 12-14. 
  • A performance on May 9 by violinist Joshua Bell – whose 1713 Stradivarius once belonged to Bronislaw Huberman, whose heroic work to save Jewish musicians during the Holocaust is the subject of Return of the Violina film to be presented the night before by the Nashville Jewish Film Festival.  
  • Three nights of Verdi’s Requiem, featuring the Nashville Symphony and Chorus and four vocal soloists on May 31-June 2, conclude the Nashville Symphony's Violins of Hope programming.

A comprehensive listing of all upcoming Violins of Hope events with detailed descriptions and direct links is available for download in the Violins of Hope digital press kit on Dropbox, along with high-resolution images and other materials. Event listings and more information can also be found at Additional events, including a series of free performances at the Nashville Public Library, will be added in the coming weeks.
For media inquiries or to arrange interviews with Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, Jonathan Leshnoff or representatives from Violins of Hope Nashville partners, please contact Dave Felipe at 615.687.6565 or


The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 29 recordings on Naxos, which have received 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. The orchestra has also released recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon and New West Records, among other labels. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs reach 60,000 children and adults each year.






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