Violins of Hope Exhibit Underway at Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians performed an intimate concert Oct. 18 giving voice to the treasured collection of instruments and their stories.

The Violins of Hope exhibit, an effort to bring healing to the region through the power of music and the human spirit, is open through November 21 at Posner Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

The centerpiece of Violins of Hope is a collection of more than 85 restored violins, violas, and cellos played by Jewish musicians during the Nazi regime. The efforts to bring Violins of Hope to Pittsburgh began in 2018 under the leadership of project chair Sandy Rosen and co-chairs Linda Simon and Pat Siger, who is a JHF board member, Chair of Health Careers Futures, and former Chair of JHF. These instruments have survived concentration camps, pogroms, and many long journeys to tell remarkable stories of injustice, suffering, resilience, and survival. Each instrument has a unique and inspiring story that connects listeners to the history of the Holocaust in a deeply emotional way.

A group tours the Violins of Hope Pittsburgh exhibit.

This landmark community project Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh's programming reinforces valuable lessons of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through educational and cultural exhibits over two months, this unique project is deploying lessons of the Holocaust to demonstrate humanity's amazing ability to rebound from even the darkest depravity. The centerpiece of this event is the Violins of Hope exhibit, showcasing violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Each instrument has a unique history that tells an emotional story of hope and perseverance.

JHF approved a two-year, $50,000 grant in 2021 to help bring Violins of Hope to Pittsburgh. This commitment was part of the $1 million total budget for the project and intended to aid the Violins of Hope Committee with their additional fundraising efforts.

Pat Siger speaks at a Violins of Hope event.

 One of the main goals of Violins of Hope is to educate both young and old in the community by using stories from the past to shed light on the future. A special emphasis is placed on comprehensive in-school programming for middle- and high-school students. Group tours are available, with time set aside for school group tours.

Tickets to the exhibit are free but are required to enter. Musical and dance performances, art installations, and lectures across the city continue through the month of November as an extension of the exhibit. The event schedule is available here.

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