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The Forum with Avshalom Weinstein and Jake Heggie: Violins of Hope

February 16, 2020

9:30 am

The co-founder of Violins of Hope and the composer of a major new chamber work honoring them on the project.

About the conversation

The Violins of Hope are a collection of more than 50 string instruments once played by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Lovingly restored by Israeli violin-makers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein, the Violins are now touring worldwide. To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Music at Kohl Mansion commissioned internationally-renowned American composer Jake Heggie and his frequent collaborator, celebrated librettist Gene Scheer, to write a major new chamber work for the Violins of Hope.

This Forum is part of Violins of Hope—San Francisco Bay Area, an immersive eight-week celebration of the remarkable resilience of the human spirit. Through a series of concerts, exhibitions, films, lectures, community conversations and educational programs collaboratively presented by more than forty diverse Bay Area organizations in eight counties, Violins of Hope SFBA showcases this first West Coast appearance of the Violins of Hope.



Also at Grace Cathedral

Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope

Evensong for Violins of Hope

About the guests

Jake Heggie is the composer of the operas Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick and It’s A Wonderful Life, among others. He has also composed nearly 300 songs, as well as chamber, choral and orchestral works. The operas – most created with writers Terrence McNally or Gene Scheer – have been produced on five continents. A Guggenheim Fellow, Heggie lives in San Francisco with his husband Curt Branom.

Third-generation Israeli violin maker Avshalom Weinstein was trained by his father, master violin-maker Amnon Weinstein. He is trained in the tradition of the Italian Cremonese School of violin-makers and the French school of restoration. Weinstein opened his own workshop in Istanbul in 2009, where he continues the family tradition. He is the founder of the Violins of Hope project together with his father.

About the host

Alan W. Jones was the Dean of Grace Cathedral from 1985 until January 2009. He is a prolific writer of books, articles and editorial opinions as well as a prominent lecturer in Episcopalian and academic circles both nationally and internationally. He is married to Virginia (Cricket) Jones and has three children and five grandchildren. He founded The Forum in 1995.

About The Forum

The Forum is a series of stimulating conversations about faith and ethics in relation to the important issues of our day. We invite inspiring and illustrious people to sit down for a real conversation with the Forum’s host, Malcolm Clemens Young, the dean of Grace Cathedral, and with you. Our guests range from artists, inventors and philosophers to pop culturists and elected officials, but the point of The Forum is singular: civil, sophisticated discourse that engages minds and hearts to think in new ways about the world.


Gresham Hall


Free and open to all


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