Resilience Through Music: Violins of Hope Exhibition Showcases Historic Instruments Connected to the Holocaust

The National Music Centre, in partnership with the Calgary Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary, is pleased to announce the latest exhibition taking place at Studio Bell – Violins of Hope.

Scheduled to run from May 3 to June 16, 2024, Violins of Hope is a poignant collection of string instruments dating from before and during the Holocaust. These meticulously restored instruments once belonged to Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Today these instruments stand as enduring symbols, serving to educate and memorialize those affected by one of history’s darkest chapters through concerts, exhibitions and other commemorative projects.

“Violins of Hope marks a significant milestone as the first internationally-themed music exhibition hosted by the National Music Centre,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO, National Music Centre. “We are excited to host this moving exhibition that promotes hope and healing through music. Bringing audiences together and fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding of music through education is central to NMC’s vision. As the first of many more international travelling exhibitions to come, we are excited to welcome other diverse voices in the future.”

Originating from Tel-Aviv, Israel, the collection is owned and curated by violin maker Avshi Weinstein and his late father, Amnon. The instruments were donated or purchased from survivors and descendants or recovered from remnants of ghettos and concentration camps. Each instrument has borne witness to unimaginable hardship while embodying resilience and perseverance.

Travelling the world, Violins of Hope brings these instruments to communities worldwide, inviting audiences to immerse themselves in their beautiful sound, delve into their historical significance and examine the tragedy of the Holocaust. The instruments have previously travelled to Australia, Germany, and cities across the U.S.

“Violins of Hope shares the history and narratives surrounding the instruments once belonging to Jewish survivors of the Shoah (Hebrew word for Holocaust),” said Marnie Bondar, Co-Chair, Holocaust and Human Rights: Remembrance and Education department of Calgary Jewish Federation. “Each instrument stands as a monument to survivors and victims. We need to tell and preserve their stories to show the strength of the human spirit and the power of music to offer hope in the darkest of times.”

This NMC exhibition will offer immersive in-gallery experiences, enriched by historical images and the poignant stories that accompany each instrument. Violins from the exhibition will also be incorporated into additional programming that is national in scope. Montreal rapper Socalled, known for blending klezmer and hip-hop, will perform live with his international string quartet at Studio Bell on May 26. On June 2, NMC will present 2023 JUNO Award-winning singer and composer Lenka Lichtenberg, featuring Drew Jurecka and Rebekah Wolkstein on strings. Tickets are on sale now for both concerts at

Along with other specialized educational programs hosted by NMC, an artist residency will take place in June with the opportunity to record music using pieces from the collection. A call for applications for the residency is now open, interested artists can apply at

Violins of Hope is the first of other internationally themed exhibitions that will be coming to Studio Bell in the future. Through this exhibition and others, NMC seeks to catalyze meaningful discourse, share diverse stories, and offer inclusive educational experiences in an innovative and accessible format, all through the lens of music.

For further information regarding the Violins of Hope exhibition and ticket purchases, please visit