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IPO musicians will play Violins of Hope at May 13 concert

Several violins owned and played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust will be played by Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra musicians as IPO concludes its 45th season on Saturday, May 13. The concert will feature the premiere of “Nifrach,” a work by IPO composer-in-resident Jonathan Cziner; Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8;” and Amy Beach’s “Symphony in E. Minor, op. 32.”  

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Drive in Palos Heights. Concert goers are invited to a pre-concert talk “Amy Beach and the Gaelic Symphony” at 6:30 p.m. hosted by IPO board member Dr. Charles Amenta. 

“Musical instruments are a vessel for music, but on this night, our orchestra will be these magnificent instruments’ vessel,” said Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Executive Director Christina Salerno. “To know these instruments, the exact ones that were present and are part of so much history, will once again have music emanating from them is nothing short of extraordinary. This night will be history and hope come to life, and we are incredibly humbled to carry the violins’ message into our concert hall.”

Violins of Hope comprise a collection of 70 string instruments that were played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust, and they have been donated or purchased from survivors. The instruments have been painstakingly restored and are part of a traveling display in the Chicago area. They were on display at Prairie State College in April.


The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra is a three-time winner of the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ “Professional Orchestra of the Year” award. Tickets for the May 13 performance are available at IPOmusic.org or by calling 708-481-7774.

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