Illinois State Museum, Jewish Federation of Springfield partner for ‘Violins of Hope’

The opening lecture on Thursday has already sold out.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Museum (ISM) has partnered with the Jewish Federation of Springfield to present “Violins of Hope: A Celebration of Survival” from Sept. 7 to 13 at the Museum in downtown Springfield.

The Violins of Hope project is being shared throughout Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is exhibiting six violins played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust as part of a partnership with the Jewish Federation of Springfield through special arrangements with the Jewish Community Center of Chicago. The restored violins give voice to Holocaust victims and reinforce messages of hope, harmony, and humanity.

In addition to displaying violins, the ISM will serve as the host site for the opening lecture and recital, “Memories in Reprise: Arno Khan and the Klingenthaler Violin.” The event’s featured speaker is Yona Stamatis, associate professor of ethnomusicology and music program director at the University of Illinois Springfield. He will be accompanied by violinist Katrin Stamatis, viola player Lisa Nelson, and cellist Jacobsen Woollen.

The performance will feature two historic violins: a 120-year-old, hand-made Klezmer violin adorned with a mother-of-pearl Star of David and the Auschwitz Violin, made in the workshop of Schweitzer in Germany around 1850. This particular instrument was initially owned by an inmate who played in the men’s orchestra at the concentration camp in Auschwitz and survived.

The opening lecture and recital will take place in the Illinois State Museum’s auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Public tickets are sold out.

The Jewish Federation of Springfield serves as the secular volunteer umbrella organization for the Jewish community in central Illinois. The Jewish Federation helps meet the needs of Jews to ensure Jewish continuity for central Illinois.

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