Violins and Hope: From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall / A Virtual, Free Jewish Book Council Author Talk by Photographer Daniel Levin
Commemorating Kristallnacht (November 9-10) Learn about Kristallnacht at the website of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/kristallnacht
Wednesday, November 9, 7-8:30pm on Zoom and FCTV Public Channel 13 and fctv.org
Falmouth Jewish Congregation and its partner the Worcester JCC invite everyone to a free, virtual Jewish Book Council Author Talk by author and photographer Daniel Levin. Mr. Levin will present an illustrated talk on his book Violins and Hope: From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall, Gold Winner of the 2022 IPPY Awards in History and a Foreward Review’s 2021 Indies Finalist for Best Book in Photography. This special event will take place from 7-8:30pm on Wednesday, November 9 and is scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of Kristallnacht (“The Night of Broken Glass”). The escalation of terror that night and the following day marked a turning point in the scale and manifestation of Nazi violence against Jews.
You can participate in the program on Zoom and view it on FCTV, which will carry it live on FCTV Public Channel 13 in Falmouth and livestream it on their website. Those who join on Zoom will have an opportunity to pose questions. Find the Zoom registration link and more information about the diverse 2022-2023 JBC author talk series at www.falmouthjewish.org. Books are available from Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth and can be ordered in person, by phone or online at www.eightcousins.com.
Documentary and conceptual art photographer Daniel Levin traveled to the workshop of Israeli master luthier Amnon Weinstein, founder of the renowned Violins of Hope program, to explore this great man’s life’s mission. In doing so, he uncovered not only beautiful photographic representations of Amnon’s processes of restoration of delicate violins that miraculously survived the Holocaust, but his intimate workshop as well. Years ago Weinstein began a project years that may be one of the most creative, effective, and magnificent approaches to education on the topic of the Holocaust. Trained by three of the most revered Cremona, Italian luthiers of the twentieth century, Weinstein had a vision to restore violins that survived the concentration camps and the ghettos, even when their owners often did not. To date, more than seventy violins have been restored to their highest playable condition. Following restoration, these hauntingly beautiful instruments have been used in performances by symphonies in Berlin, Cleveland, Istanbul, London, Quebec, Paris, San Francisco, and many other cities across the world. Purposefully, Weinstein makes certain that young musicians as well as members of some of the world’s most famed orchestras perform on them to packed concert halls. In doing so, it’s as if the past owners of the instruments return to fill the listener-observer’s mind and body. For his efforts, Amnon and his "Violins of Hope” project received the 2020 Anne Frank Special Recognition Award, created by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to honor those who have demonstrated a commitment to fighting intolerance, antisemitism, racism, or discrimination.
With Violins and Hope, Daniel Levin has made the most compelling and beautiful series of photographs documenting Weinstein’s collection of violins, his workshop in Tel Aviv, and his processes for restoration, revealing the workshop to the world for the very first time. His research led to extraordinary stories that include figures such as Bronislaw Huberman, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Joshua Bell, Shlomo Minz, Arturo Toscanini, Johannes Brahms, and even actors Daniel Craig, and Adrien Brody, each whose lives are inextricably intertwined with Weinstein’s. This book is not a document of place, as much as it is a document of the ethereal. For what Weinstein has done with these lost violins has been to transform tragic loss into triumph in the most insightful and powerful way imaginable. The care that Levin has taken to hone in on the idiosyncrasies of Amnon’s workshop, and his uncanny ability to celebrate the beauty of light, is nothing short of remarkable. Mr. Levin’s illustrated presentation will bring the workshop and its stories to us in vivid detail.
Daniel Levin is a contemporary artist, photographer, professor, and author whose works primarily address social justice issues. An Associate Professor of Photography at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, he holds an MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Art, and a BFA in Documentary Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. No matter the medium, his works primarily address his societal concerns, his interest in how history relates to today, and his search for kindness. Learn more about Mr. Levin’s work at https://levinphoto.com/.