Local musicians play violins that survived the Holocaust

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Violins of Hope will be traveling from Israel to perform with Columbia’s Varna International.

Performing together for the first time, two international musical performance companies will join forces for nationwide events. South Carolina plans to host Violins of Hope, which will be arriving from Israel from April 18 to May 19, 2022 to perform with Columbia’s Varna International.

Violins of Hope contains 60 violins played by Jewish musicians who perished in death camps during the Holocaust. The now restored violins – played by local musicians – will remind audiences of Never Again. “The violins represent the victory of the human spirit over evil and hatred,” said Amnon Weinstein, founder of Violins of Hope.

Varna International’s “Songs of Life” presents the little-known story of Bulgarians who saved their 49,000 Jewish citizens from the Nazis in 1943. The amazing story of Europe’s greatest rescue from WWII will feature soloists from the renowned National Folklore Ensemble Philp Kutev from Bulgaria. Along with 250 local artists, you will showcase the miraculous history in some of South Carolina’s largest venues. “The combination of word and music is the most powerful and emphatic way to convey a message,” notes Sharon and Kalin Tchonev, founders of Varna International.

Together, both music productions have performed hundreds of times in European capitals, Israel and the United States, and have performed in venues such as Kennedy Center, Boston’s Wang Theater and Lincoln Center. They will perform together at these once-in-a-lifetime events that bring the South Carolina motto, “As I Breathe, I Hope” to life.

Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, Abbeville, Greenwood and Sumter are now planning and planning concerts, educational and cultural events. The South Carolina musicians will awaken the violins in large orchestral concerts and in smaller ensembles of high school orchestras. Music will float above the Palmetto State in synagogues, churches, opera houses, libraries, schools and universities. Six guest authors of stories from the Holocaust period, museum exhibitions of 80-year-old violins and an art exhibition entitled “The Auschwitz Album Revisited” are also part of the extensive national program of the four-week tour.

Every founder’s musical passions have arisen from the powerful, inspiring stories of their Israeli and Bulgarian families. The goal of the four-week tour is to elevate through the arts the ideals of courage, inspiration and the message of Never Again. The cultural and educational events serve as inspiring additions to Passover from April 15 to 23, Easter on April 17 and in honor of the Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 28.

Educational, religious and civic groups are urged to select and plan events now that will take place between April 18 and May 19, 2022. Tickets are available for Violins of Hope and Varna International’s Songs of Life on April 24th at Myrtle Beach High School, North Charleston Performing Arts Center on April 28th and Koger Center on May 8th.

For videos and more information, visit www.facebook.com/ViolinsofHopeSC, YouTube / ils5JEjUsgI or www.violinsofhopesc.org.

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