A 40-minute song cycle for mezzo-soprano, solo violin, string quartet and youth solo violin. Texts by Gene Scheer based on stories about violins played by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust; inspired by James Grymes’ book Violins of Hope: Violins of the Holocaust – Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour (Harper Perennial. Used by Permission). Commissioned by Music at Kohl Mansion and made possible by a 2017 Hewlett 50 Arts Commissions Grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
First Performance: Jan 18, 2020 at Kohl Mansion, Burlingame, CA; mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, violinist Daniel Hope, quartet from the San Francisco Opera Orchestra featuring Kay Stern (violin 1), Dawn Harms (violin 2), Patricia Heller (viola) and Emil Miland (cello), with youth solo violinist Sean Mori.
Orchestration commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. First performance: August 7, 2022 at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Santa Cruz CA, featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, violinist Benjamin Beilman, youth violinist Thais Chernyavski, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, led by music director Cristian Mācelaru.
Full Orchestra: 1/1/1/1 2/1/1/0, timpani, 2 percussion, harp, strings
Also arranged for String Orchestra.A recording is available, see Violins of Hope (Pentatone).
One or more recordings have been made. (Here is a Search for them.) Score is available from Schirmer/Hal Leonard or Bill Holab Music. Sheet Music, Scores, Parts and Performance Materials are available from billholabmusic.com. Rental Sheet Music, Scores, Parts and Performance Materials are available from billholabmusic.com.