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Illinois State Museum and Jewish Federation partner for Violins of Hope

ILLINOIS, August 30 - Features a display and recital with Holocaust-era violins

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois State Museum has partnered with the Jewish Federation of Springfield to present "Violins of Hope: A Celebration of Survival" from Sept. 7 to 13 at the Museum in downtown Springfield.

The Violins of Hope project is being shared throughout Illinois in various exciting ways. The Illinois State Museum is exhibiting six violins played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust as part of a partnership with the Jewish Federation of Springfield through special arrangements with the Jewish Community Center of Chicago. These lovingly restored violins give voice to Holocaust victims and reinforce messages of hope, harmony, and humanity.

In addition to displaying violins, the Museum will serve as the host site for the opening lecture and recital, "Memories in Reprise: Arno Khan and the Klingenthaler Violin." The event's featured speaker is Yona Stamatis, associate professor of ethnomusicology and music program director at the University of Illinois Springfield. He will be accompanied by violinist Katrin Stamatis, viola player Lisa Nelson, and cellist Jacobsen Woollen.

The upcoming performance will feature two historic violins: a 120-year-old, hand-made Klezmer violin adorned with a mother of pearl Star of David and the Auschwitz Violin, made in the workshop of Schweitzer in Germany around 1850. This particular instrument was initially owned by an inmate who played in the men's orchestra at the concentration camp in Auschwitz and survived.

The opening lecture and recital will take place in the Illinois State Museum's auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Limited free tickets are available to the public. Those wishing to attend are required to register in advance at

About the Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum (ISM), established in 1877, is an accredited institution that inspires exploration of Illinois' past and present to inform and enrich everyday life and to promote stewardship of cultural and natural resources for the future. The flagship museum is on the Capitol Complex in Springfield, with branch facilities in Lewistown and Lockport. The ISM benefits from its relationship with the Illinois State Museum Society, a non-profit founded in 1952 that supports the museum's programs, exhibitions, and research projects.

About the Jewish Federation of Springfield

The Jewish Federation of Springfield serves as the secular volunteer umbrella organization for the Jewish community in central Illinois. The Jewish Federation helps meet the needs of Jews to ensure Jewish continuity for central Illinois to Israel and throughout the world.