Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project composed of instruments owned by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust. Violins in the collection were played in the concentration camps and ghettos, offering a source of comfort for some and providing a means of survival for others. Juilliard graduate Niv Ashkenazi is the first musician to record a solo album on one of them.
Niv Ashkenazi. Photo © Ricki Quinn
How did you become aware of the Violins of Hope project and how did you get to be the only violinist in the world to hold one of their instruments on a long-term loan?
There was a major Violins of Hope project in Cleveland, Ohio in 2015. I was in the middle of my master’s degree at Juilliard in New York and I remember seeing a lot of articles and social media, but I had no idea I would ever become involved. Then, in 2017, I was asked to be one of the violinists for Violins of Hope events in Sarasota, Florida, which was a huge...