Heggie-Scheer World Premiere, Kohl Mansion
Photo: Matthew Washburn
Violins of Hope


January 16 – March 15, 2020

The shared humanity and resonance of the Violins of Hope never seemed so poignant. Here are some of the highlights:

• West Coast debut of Violins of Hope featured 52 instruments from a priceless collection of 87 recovered and restored instruments played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust era; the collection was established by Israeli father and son luthiers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, Tel Aviv, Israel;

Violins of Hope San Francisco Bay Area produced by Music at Kohl Mansion, an internationally acclaimed chamber music series based in Burlingame, CA; Patricia Kristof Moy executive director and Violins of Hope producer; Pam Lampkin, associate producer; project three years in the planning;

• 42 Bay Area non-profit performing and visual arts organizations, faith-based institutions and community centers presented over 80 events in 48 venues over eight weeks throughout eight Bay Area counties: San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Santa Clara, Marin, and Napa; plus one partner in Seattle, WA;

• 21 concerts of symphonic and chamber music; all concerts featured musicians playing instruments from the VOH collection; presented by Music at Kohl Mansion, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Ariel Quartet, San Francisco Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Alexander String Quartet, Peninsula Symphony*, and Seattle-based Music of Remembrance;

• World Premiere of Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope, a Music at Kohl Mansion commissioned work by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, given five different debut performances in Burlingame, San Jose and San Francisco; live performance recorded for future release on Pentatone classical music label with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, violinist Daniel Hope, string quartet from San Francisco Opera Orchestra (Kay Stern, Dawn Harms, Patricia Heller and Emil Miland), and student violinist Sean Mori;

Along the Trade Route artists Cookie Segelstein, Emmanuel During,
Hemmige V. Srivatsan, and Darcy Noonan

• 11 concerts of klezmer/folk/traditional/world music titled “Along the Trade Route” led by klezmer violinist and historian Cookie Segelstein and friends; all violinists performed on instruments from the VOH collection;

• More than 200 hundred classical, chamber and klezmer/folk/world music artists performed in concerts;

VOH Exhibition Opens: Lisa Coscino & Amnon Weinstein cut the ribbon
Photo: Patricia Kristof Moy

• 3 public and highly popular curated exhibitions were presented in San Francisco: Violins of Hope, A Journey of Heroism, Healing and Humanity; Foster City: The Weinsteins’ Workshop, the Luthiers Who Restored the Violins of the Holocaust; and Los Gatos: In the Artist’s Studio: The Workshop of Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein and the Violins of Hope;

International Holocaust Remembrance, Congregation Emanu-El

• Special Holocaust Remembrance Day free civic event and concert at San Francisco’s Congregation EmanuEl (with Simone Dinnerstein and New Century Chamber Orchestra, and a performance of Heggie’s Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope) commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp; and a special commendation presented by the Consul General of Israel, Shlomi Kofman, honoring VOH co-founders Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein;

• 12 films were screened about music during the Holocaust era and a documentary entitled Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust;

• 15 public forums & community engagement discussions, most with musical performances, including two ecumenical services; musicians performed on instruments from the VOH collection;

• One Holocaust-era violin donated to the collection from a San Francisco resident and presented to Avshalom Weinstein at the San Francisco Veterans Building exhibition on March 13;

• 19 public events and/or concerts were admission-free;

• 58 guest speakers and presenters were featured including award winning author James Grymes, author of Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust – Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour, Grace Cathedral’s Dean Emeritus Alan Jones and more;

• 162 individual, corporate, foundation and government donors;

Israeli Consul Gnl. Shlomi Kofman, Patricia Kristof Moy, Amnon Weinstein
Photo: Matthew Washburn

• 60+ press and media stories, features, interviews and reviews including four front page A-1 news stories in San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Bay Area News Group/Mercury News and J Weekly; media sponsorship by J Weekly, San Mateo Daily Journal and Carlstrom Productions; extensive social media coverage, podcasts; special www.violinsofhopesfba.org website established;

• 7,512 students and teachers from 20 Bay Area public and private schools attended special VOH presentations and performances by Bay Area musicians: Cookie Segelstein, Joshua Horowitz, Rebecca Jackson, Elizabeth Jackson, Hannah Tarley, Kay Stern, Emil Miland, Patty Heller, Dawn Harms; Ariel Quartet; Sevil Ulucan Weinstein; and Alexandra Simpson;

• 29,454 total attendance** for all Violins of Hope San Francisco Bay Area programs.

*Peninsula Symphony has rescheduled its two Violins of Hope concerts for September 11 and 12.
**Attendance does not reflect the 11 canceled public and private events due to the coronavirus.

See the complete News Release