First Solo Album on a Violin that Survived the Holocaust

Los Angeles, California, May 1st] 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.

Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of The Soraya commented; “The sensitivity and versatility of Niv Ashkenazi’s playing brings this historic instrument to life. His care in producing this recording is evident in every choice he makes and each note he plays.”

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.

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Noreen Green, Director of the LA Jewish Symphony commented; “The violin comes alive under Niv’s fingers. He is in tune not only with this instrument, which with every note brings to life those that perished in the Shoah, but with his Jewish neshama (soul) that is felt in every turn of phrase.”

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.

The Weinstein family commented; “Niv is the only violinist we trust absolutely to bring out the sounds of long gone horrors, with an honest sound and much love for this music and our legacy.”

Niv Ashkenazi: Violins of Hope features music by composers who were affected by the Holocaust, such as Robert Dauber and Szymon Laks, as well as other influential Jewish music, including John Williams’s iconic

Theme from Schindler’s List, written for Itzhak Perlman. Also included is a new work by Israeli-American composer Sharon Farber, an adaptation of her concerto telling the true story of Holocaust survivor and Dutch Resistance hero Curt Lowens in his own words.

Virtuoso violinist Niv Ashkenazi has captivated audiences with his heartfelt musicianship and emotional performances. An accomplished soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Pianist Matthew Graybil has performed throughout the United States and Canada since making his orchestral debut at age 14. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, he is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

For more information on this topic, please call Niv Ashkenazi at 818-395-7141, or email

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The album can be found on Amazon and on iTunes, and you can also find it on for streaming.


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