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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Violins of Hope - Along the Trade Route

By Evy Warshawski

Nearly 50 years ago internationally renowned Tel Aviv violin maker, Amnon Weinstein, heard a story from a customer who brought in an instrument for repair.

The client believed he had survived the Holocaust because his “job” was to play the violin while Nazi soldiers marched others to their deaths.

Upon opening the violin, Weinstein, to his horror, found ashes inside. He knew then that he had to seek out and restore other stringed instruments with untold stories like this one in remembrance of the 400 members of his own extended family who perished in the Holocaust.

Fifty recovered and refurbished instruments from this collection will be featured in Violins of Hope, a unique, eight-week Bay Area residency offering concerts, exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, ecumenical services and community forums. For information, visit

Forty-one organizations from eight Bay Area counties will participate from January 16 through March 15, 2020. Events coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp.

Napa’s participation in the Violins of Hope project takes place on Sunday, January 26 at 2 pm, when the Napa Center for Thought & Culture (NCTC) presents one performance of Along the Trade Route at Jarvis Conservatory. For tickets and information, visit

Eight internationally acclaimed Bay Area musicians, seeped in seemingly separate cultural musical traditions, will share an exciting and surprising common vision of musical collaboration. All of the fiddlers will be playing repurposed violins from the Weinstein collection. Artists include: Cookie Segelstein (Klezmer); Emmanuel During (Middle Eastern); Hemmige V. Srivatsan (South Indian); and Darcy Noonan (Celtic).

“Our idea in coming together was that the music played by Jews in Eastern Europe before World War ll was influenced by and provided influences to many other musical styles,” said Segelstein. There are elements shared in Gypsy music, which has roots in India, melodies shared with Turkish music, and even with British and Irish tunes shared at the shipping ports in places like Odessa. Music is very promiscuous, and it’s amazing how far melodies travel with no regard to borders imposed by wars and conquests.”

Along the Trade Route/Violins of Hope Bay Area is presented in association with Music at Kohl Mansion (Burlingame, CA) with special thanks to Anonymous for support of the NCTC’s concert at Jarvis Conservatory. For information on this and other NCTC programs, visit

Violins of Hope Along the Trade Route

Sun., Jan. 26 at 2 pm

For tickets and information, visit


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