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Niv Ashkenazi is the only violinist in the world to hold an instrument from the 'Violins of Hope' / The Jewish Link

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Niv Ashkenazi, the only violinist in the world to hold an instrument from the Violins of Hope collection on a long-term loan, has just released an album recorded on that instrument featuring music by composers that were affected by the Holocaust. Ashkenazi, a former student of Itzhak Perlman, is joined on the album by his fellow Juilliard graduate, pianist Matthew Graybil. This recording was part of Ashkenazi's work as Artist in Residence at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) in Northridge, CA.

Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project composed of instruments that were owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. Violins in the collection were played in the concentration camps and ghettos, providing a source of comfort for some and a means of survival for others.

Violins of Hope was founded by Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshalom, Israeli luthiers who collect these instruments, refurbish them to concert quality, and bring them to communities all over the world, so that their voices can be heard again. The message of these violins is one of hope, tolerance, and remembrance. Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope is the first solo album to be recorded on one of these instruments.

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