The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast are proud to present “Violins and Hope,” a unique event marrying photography, storytelling and the performing arts, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Michael’s On East, 1212 S. East St., Sarasota.
Part of the Federation’s season-long “Israel at 75” celebration and the kick-off of its annual “People of the Book” series, “Violins and Hope,” will feature author Daniel Levin, virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi, and pianist phenom Matthew Graybil. Levin will speak about his experiences with renowned Israeli luthier Amnon Weinstein, who artfully restores violins that survived the Holocaust in his Tel Aviv workshop.
In his 2021 book Violins and Hope: From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall, Levin illustrates through his photography the transformation of tragedy into triumph as Weinstein brings the violins of the Holocaust back to life.
Ashkenazi is the only violinist in the world to hold an instrument from Weinstein’s collection on a long-term loan. His 2020 Violins of Hope album was conceived as a way to create a lasting record of the voice of that violin. Pianist Graybil, a fellow Juilliard graduate, joins Ashkenazi on the album. The duo first worked together on the project at various “Violins of Hope” events in Sarasota-Manatee in 2017. The Weinstein family commented, “Niv is the only violinist we trust absolutely to bring out the sounds of long-gone horrors, with an honest sound and much love for this music and our legacy.”
Praised by The New Yorker as an “exceptional young artist” and by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune as a “major talent,” Graybil has performed as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico. He made his orchestral debut at age 14 and has subsequently performed with the Fort Worth Symphony and the National Chamber Players, among many others.
General tickets for “Violins and Hope” will go on sale Oct. 13 on The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s website. For more information on Israel at 75, People of the Book and other sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeremy Lisitza.