National Music Centre Announces The Daniel Pelton Collective as Violins of Hope Artist in Residence

The National Music Centre (NMC) is pleased to announce that Calgary classical act The Daniel Pelton Collective has been named for NMC’s Violins of Hope Artist in Residence.

The Daniel Pelton Collective was chosen by a jury of NMC staff and professionals for the Violins of Hope Artist Residence, which will allow the use of a portion of the historic Violins of Hope collection for the creation of new music. The collection includes restored string instruments that were once owned and used by victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Over 40 instruments are currently on display as part of the Violins of Hope exhibition, running at Studio Bell until June 16. The Daniel Pelton Collective will also have access to NMC’s renowned musical instrument collection and studio spaces that span over 450 years of innovation and technology.

Daniel Pelton is a Jewish composer and saxophonist from Calgary, who will use the residency to record an album with members of Calgary’s Kensington Sinfonia. The work is inspired by the novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on the true story of Lali Sokolov and Gita Furman, who met and fell in love while imprisoned there.

“Theirs is a harrowing and incredible story, and as a Jewish person I was particularly moved after finishing the book,” Pelton said. “The tattoos they were given in the camp are 34902 and 32407. As a way of processing my emotions, I turned those numbers into music, translating them into their 12-tone counterparts (Eb-E-A-C-D and Eb-D-E-C-G), and then composed a 10-minute piece for chamber orchestra exploring how these motives interact with each other. The music will be released in January of 2025 to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.”

“We were impressed by The Daniel Pelton Collective’s artistic concept and thoughtful submission that connects so deeply to Daniel’s heritage. NMC is proud to support this young composer and band leader in his artistic journey,” said Stephanie Hutchinson, NMC’s Director of Programs. “This residency offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create new music using instruments with such profound historical significance. This project is the perfect example of connecting the past with the present through the power of music.”

Pelton’s residency will take place at Studio Bell in June of 2024, and a behind-the-scenes look at his recording will be shared in the coming months via NMC Amplify at

The Violins of Hope exhibition is presented in partnership with the Calgary Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation of Calgary. For more information about the exhibition and to buy tickets, please visit