Violins of Hope
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A recording commemorating the instruments used by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust.

Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project composed of instruments that were owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. Violins in the collection were played in the concentration camps and ghettos, providing a source of comfort for some and a means of survival for others. Above all, the instruments represented strength and optimism for the future during mankind's darkest hour. The project was founded by Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, Israeli luthiers who collect and refurbish the instruments and bring them to communities around the world. Violinist Niv Ashkenazi was invited to join other musicians performing on instruments from this collection and now holds one of the instruments on a long-term loan. This violin, made between 1900-1929 in Eastern Europe or Germany, was used by Ashkenazi for this recording. Ashkenazi has chosen Jewish repertoire from throughout the lifetime of the violin. Like the instruments in the Violins of Hope collection, most of these composers were affected by the Holocaust. Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. An accomplished soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Pianist Matthew Graybil has performed throughout the United States and Canada since making his orchestral debut at age 14. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, he is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Contents:
Robert Dauber, composer
Serenade
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Ernest Bloch, composer
Nigun
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

John Williams, composer
Theme from Schindler's List
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Julius Chajes, composer
The Chassid
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Sharon Farber, composer
Bestemming: Triumph
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)' Sharon Farber (piano); Tony Campisi (narrator)

Szymon Laks, composer
Trois pièces de concert
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

George Perlman, composer
Dance of the Rebbitzen
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Paul Ben-Haim, composer
Berceuse sfaradite
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Maurice Ravel, composer
Kaddisch
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Paul Ben-Haim, composer
Three Songs Without Words
Niv Ashkenazi (violin); Matthew Graybil (piano)

Review:
"…The performances by Niv Ashkenazi are quite good. His playing has a fluid quality to it. He is clearly an accomplished musician.…The playing of Matthew Graybil is highly sympathetic to the music. The recorded sound is excellent." (Fanfare)