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July 18, 2024

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Violins of Hope Come to Music City

Sometimes instruments have stories of their own...

Music has a powerful way of connecting us as it tells stories and strikes emotional cords. Sometimes the instruments themselves have stories of their own. Such is the case with the unique collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during The Holocaust. The Nashville Symphony is leading the way with more than two dozen local organizations to bring Violins of Hope to Music City.

β€œEach of these instruments has a remarkable story to tell about resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable difficulty,” says Alan D. Valentine, Nashville Symphony president and CEO. “This singular collection will serve as a springboard for many of Nashville’s cultural organizations to explore the vital role that music, the arts and creativity play in all of our lives,” he adds.


In addition to the free exhibit of instruments that will be on display at Nashville Public Library March 26 – May 27, several special events β€” 32 altogether β€” will take place including musical performances, art exhibits, lectures and more.

Nashville Ballet kicks things off with its Feb. 9 – 11 performance of Light: The Holocaust and Humanity Project at TPAC. Nashville Symphony musicians will play the exhibit’s violins March 22 – 24 when they perform John Williams’ music from Schindler’s List.

Other highlights include:

β€’ Thru June 24: Nick Cave: Feat. Exhibit at the Frist Center
β€’ Thru Oct. 8: The Josef Ganz Story at Lane Motor Museum
β€’ March 26: Voices of Hope Choral Festival at the Schermerhorn
β€’ April 10: The Sound of Silent Voices at Vanderbilt University Central Library
β€’ April 12: Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Schermerhorn
β€’ May 10 & 15: Anne Frank: A Living Voice at The Temple

Find a complete list of Violins of Hope events HERE.

“This represents a profoundly important opportunity to let these sacred instruments provide a measure of redemption to the millions of Holocaust victims who perished simply because they were Jews,” says Mark S. Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. “These violins should serve as a clarion call that the words ‘Never Again’ must resonate through every one of us in our collective struggle to overcome bigotry and hatred,” he adds.

Indeed, introducing your children to the Violins of Hope exhibit and surrounding events will enable you to create a dialogue with them on music, art, social justice, world history and free expression.

For more info and a complete schedule of events, visit


Photo above: The Auschwitz Violin was owned by an unnamed inmate who performed in the men’s orchestra at Auschwitz and survived. Abraham Davidowitz bought the violin from the man for $50 hoping his son, Freddy, would learn to play it. Many years later, Freddy heard about the Violins of Hope project and donated this instrument.

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