Violins of Hope

Varna International Music Academy will coordinate a major, statewide series of educational and artistic events that present the story of the Holocaust through performances, exhibits, storytelling, lectures, and other programs. From April 18 – May 14, 2022, events will take place in communities across South Carolina, including Abbeville, Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Conway, Greenville, Greenwood, Myrtle Beach, Newberry, Spartanburg, and Sumter. SC Humanities supported this programming with a Major Grant.

The “Violins of Hope” are a collection of 60 instruments that Jewish people played in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Since 1996, Luthiers Amnon and Avshi Weinstein have acquired and refurbished the instruments to restore their best sounds.

The historic instruments will be featured in the “Violins of Hope & Songs of Life” performances that will take place in Myrtle Beach on Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 p.m.; in Chareleston on Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m.; in Greenville on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.; and in Columbia on Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. The concert portrays the little-known story of Bulgarians who rescued their 49,000 Jewish citizens in 1943 from Nazi deportation to concentration camps. The concert includes soloists from the world-renowned Phillip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble of Bulgaria. Ticket prices range from $35 – $75. More information about the concert and how to purchase tickets is available here:

In addition to the concerts, there will be a variety of exhibits and educational events offered around the state. Planned events include:

Friday, April 22, 2022, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Speaker James Grymes, Author of Violins of Hope
University of South Carolina School of Music Recital Hall, 813 Assembly St, Columbia, SC 29208

Saturday, April 23, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Exhibits and Speakers
Myrtle Beach Train Depot, 851 Broadway St, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Time TBA
Exhibits and Speakers
Bishop England High School, 363 Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island, SC 29492

Saturday, May 1, 2022
Remembrance Day Ceremony, Exhibit, and Presentation by Avshi Weinstein
Myrtle Beach, SC
(Details TBA)

May 3 – May 22, 2022
The Museum and Railroad Center, 106 Main Street, Greenwood

Friday, May 6, 2022 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Mt. Sinai Jewish History Center, 11 Church Street, Sumter, SC 29150

Monday, May 10, 2022 | 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Abbeville Opera House, 100 Court Square #102, Abbeville, SC 29620

Thursday, May 12, 2022
Anderson University at the Student Center Theater, 316 Boulevard, Anderson, SC 29621

Private educational events will also take place for students in Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Sumter.

More information about the “Violins of Hope” programming can be found on the website:

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.