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Camille B├╝tikofer

The Violins of Hope: World Premiere in Sion, Switzerland

July 16, 2010 at 7:47 AM

Sion Festival (Switzerland) - www.



A major international violin exhibition will take place for the fist time this summer in the context of the 46th International Music Festival Sion Valais. 18 violins of a collection of 24, recovered from the Holocaust and restored by Master violin maker Amnon Weinstein, will be displayed from August 18th to September 15th 2010 in the historical setting of the “Ancien Pénitencier” in Sion – a former prison converted into an Art Museum.

When History meets Art: Weinstein’s quest for lost violins

The exhibition displays the fruit of more than 10 years of dedicated research and craftsmanship.  Internationally renowned violin maker Amnon Weinstein’s quest to find these violins and uncover their stories led him all over Europe, from remote markets to American army warehouses and municipality cellars… Some of the violins that he found and restored are klezmer instruments dating back to the early 19th century. Passed down from hand to hand, these violins witness the overwhelming story of those who played them or those who heard them. Although they tell a sad tale, the “Violins of Hope” also evoke the beauty of music, the joy of living, the pleasure of loving and sharing. They are there to remind us that art and culture are conveyors of hope and peace.

Largo photo and video exhibition

The stories of these 18 violins will be illustrated by a large photo and video exhibition, including an exclusive photo report by Lucille Reyboz from the Blue Press Agency—artist whose work has been presented in New York, Paris and Tokyo.

Violins of Hope played during 6 concerts

The “Violins of Hope” will be brought back to life during six concerts in Sion and in Crans-Montana. They will be entrusted to great virtuosos of our time, including Shlomo Mintz, Cihat Askin, Yair Dalal and Hagai Shaham, as well as 3 young prize-winners of the International Violin Competition Sion Valais and the members of the ZHdK Strings Ensemble (Zurich), under the direction of Rudolf Koelman.

Conferences and workshops on the « Art of Making Violins »

The Exhibition will be enriched by conferences and workshops on « The Art of Making Violins » under the direction of Amnon Weinstein and Roland Baumgartner, violin maker from Basel, with the participation of other violin makers from Switzerland and abroad. They will share their experience and knowledge on a series of different themes, including the different schools of violin making, the techniques of violin craftmanship, the history of the restoration of « The Violins of Hope »…

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