Cabrillo Festival is honored to introduce you to the Violins of Hope San Francisco Bay Area, and to be a collaborator in this profound series of events.
For more than two decades, Israeli violin-makers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein have recovered and meticulously restored an extensive collection of string instruments played by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and in commemoration these “Violins of Hope” will make their West Coast debut in an eight-week Bay Area residency.
Violins of Hope San Francisco Bay Area is an immersive multi-week celebration of the remarkable resilience of the human spirit, hosted by Music at Kohl Mansion (MAKM). 50 instruments from the collection will be showcased through a series of concerts, lectures, exhibitions, community conversations, and educational programs collaboratively presented by more than forty diverse Bay Area organizations. The series runs mid-January through mid-March 15, 2020; click here for a summary of events.
MAKM has commissioned award-winning composer/librettist team Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer to create a chamber work for the occasion. Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope will premiere on January 18 and 19, featuring renowned mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, acclaimed violinist Daniel Hope, and a string quartet comprised of members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra—violinists Kay Stern, Dawn Harms, violist Liz Prior and cellist Emil Miland. Each musician will perform on one of the historic string instruments from the Violins of Hope collection.
The premiere has sold out, but there will be additional performances of the work at Congregation Sinai in San Jose and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in February. Click here for details.
“Both Gene and I are profoundly moved by the stories of these violins, and [they] immediately got our imaginations going. There are so many stories to tell. I see in this project an opportunity to gather and engage a broad spectrum of communities on the West Coast for something beautiful, moving, historic and educational, with an important message for today.”—Jake Heggie
Cabrillo Festival has commissioned a full orchestral version of Heggie’s Intonations, to be premiered at the Festival on August 1st, 2020, with Sasha Cooke and violinist Benjamin Beilman as featured soloists. Stay tuned for our full season announcement in March!