Violins of Hope – Concerts & Events

Oct 03, 2022—Oct 27, 2022

Location

Various Locations - See PSO Website for full list of dates and events

Categories , , , , ,

VIOLINS OF HOPE – October 2022 

Presented by the Portland Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, ChoralArt, Maine Jewish Museum, Maine Jewish Film Festival, Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, and the Consulate General of Israel to New England. 

 

The Portland Symphony Orchestra will hold a special month-long residency this October with Violins of Hope. The residency is in commemoration of the Holocaust, specifically of the 80th anniversary of the resistance of the Terezín prisoners, which took place in the form of continuing Jewish tradition at the concentration camp, and included 16 performances of Verdi’s Requiem Mass. 

 

Violins of Hope Maine will include education and community events in collaboration with community partners Choral Art, Holocaust & Human Rights Center, Maine Jewish Museum, Maine Jewish Film Festival, the Consulate General of Israel to New England, and Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine. This month-long project is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, The Hudson Foundation, and generous community members. 

 

Violins of Hope is a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. The Nazis used music, and especially violins, to humiliate and degrade Jews in ghettos and camps. They confiscated thousands of instruments owned by Jews, across Europe. The Violins of Hope concerts are in response to their plan to annihilate a people and their culture, to destroy human lives and freedom. These instruments, 60 in total, have survived concentration camps, pogroms, and many long journeys to tell remarkable stories of injustice, suffering, resilience, and survival. Owned and restored by father-and-son violin-makers Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, the collection travels to concert halls around the world. Avshi Weinstein will travel to Maine to participate in Violins of Hope Maine community and education events, including a string quartet tour of southern and central Maine visiting schools, museums, and synagogues. 

 

Terezín was a Nazi camp that included Jewish intellectual, political, and musical elite. Conductor Rafael Schächter, a prisoner, taught a chorus of prisoners Verdi’s Requiem from one smuggled score. During 1942-43, the chorus sang 16 performances of the Requiem. For the prisoners, these performances demonstrated their determination to hold onto their humanity while acting in defiance to the Nazis. Conductor Rafael Schächter told the choir, “We will sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.”  

 

Violins of Hope Maine will culminate with two PSO performances of Verdi’s Requiem, under the baton of PSO Music Director Eckart Preu. PSO string players will perform on Violins of Hope instruments, allowing the voices of these instruments to be heard. The concerts will open with two works that highlight instruments from the collection, Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei and John Williams Theme from Schindler’s List. The PSO will be joined by four vocal soloists and ChoralArt Masterworks for Verdi’s Requiem.  

 

PSO Music Director Eckart Preu said, “Throughout history music has empowered people, has given them comfort, support, and strength. The Violins of Hope instruments tell extraordinary stories of courage, resilience, and humanity. These violins represent living history, the extraordinary power of music, and are messengers of peace, harmony, and the human spirit.” 

 

Grammy-winning PARMA will record the performances, and it will be available digitally for 30 days, from November 2 – December 2, 2022.  

 

 

VIOLINS OF HOPE OCTOBER SCHEDULE 

 

VIOLINS OF HOPE EXHIBITION AT HOLOCAUST AND HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER 

October 4 – October 18 

46 University Dr., Augusta 

 

PSO VIRTUAL SYMPHONY 101: THE VIOLINS – WITH AVSHI WEINSTEIN 

Monday, October 3 

PSO Music Director Eckart Preu will lead a discussion with Avshi Weinstein to highlight the story of Violins of Hope, their mission, and the stories of these sacred artifacts.  

 

PSO VIRTUAL SYMPHONY 101: ARTISTIC – VERDI’S REQUIEM  

Thursday, October 13 

PSO Music Director Eckart Preu will lead a discussion with community partners and artistic leaders about the history and significance of this work.  

 

PSO STRING QUARTET PERFORMANCE AT ETZ CHAIM SYNAGOGUE 

Sunday, October 16 

267 Congress St., Portland 

This event will include Avshi Weinstein and PSO musicians performing Jewish music on Violins of Hope instruments, and a community discussion.  

 

Tuesday, October 18 

PSO STRING QUARTET PERFORMANCE AT HOLOCAUST AND HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER  

46 University Dr., Augusta 

This event will include Avshi Weinstein and PSO musicians performing Jewish music on Violins of Hope instruments, and a community discussion.  

 

Wednesday, October 19 

MAINE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL SCREENING OF VIOLINS OF HOPE: STRINGS OF THE HOLOCAUST AT THE PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART  

7 Congress Square, Portland 

This event will include a discussion with Avshi Weinstein, Music Director Eckart Preu, and Concertmaster Charles Dimmick.  

 

October 20-27 

VIOLINS OF HOPE EXHIBITION AT MAINE JEWISH MUSEUM  

267 Congress St., Portland 

 

Sunday, October 23 & Tuesday, October 25 

PSO VIOLINS OF HOPE: VERDI’S REQUIEM                

Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrle St., Portland  

 

Program: 

  • Max Bruch: Kol Nidrei for Violoncello & Orchestra, op. 47 
  • John Williams: Theme from Schindler’s List 
  • Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem 

 

PSO VIOLINS OF HOPE: VERDI’S REQUIEM, Digital 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 – Friday, December 2, 2022 

More Events

Violins of Hope – Concerts & Events

Oct 03, 2022—Oct 27, 2022

Various Locations - See PSO Website for full list of dates and events

Lion King Musical Theater – Youth Program for Ages 6-14

Oct 06, 2022 4:00PM—6:00PM

JCA 1342 Congress St Portland, ME 04102

Beginner Mah Jongg class with Judi Slotsky

Oct 11, 2022 6:00PM—8:00PM

JCA 1342 Congress St. Portland, ME

Violins and Hope: From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall with author Daniel Levin

Oct 12, 2022 7:00PM—8:00PM

Online via Zoom