Violins of Hope Luthier Amnon Weinstein Has Died, Aged 84

By Keegan Morris |

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Amnon Weinstein at work repairing a violin

Amnon Weinstein (Photo: Miki Koren)

Amnon Weinstein has died at age 84. The respected Israeli luthier is best known for creating the Violins of Hope project, which restores and tours instruments — particularly violins — of Holocaust victims and survivors.

Amnon’s father, Moshe, was a respected violinmaker, and Amnon himself was trained in Cremona, a noted lutherie center. Continuing the family profession is Amnon’s Istanbul-based son, Avshalom, a luthier who has also contributed to the Violins of Hope project.

Over the course of the project, which began in the 1990s, Weinstein collected and restored over 100 instruments. Now, the Violins of Hope project tours the world to spread awareness about the Holocaust. The collection and concert program first came to the US in 2012, and the collection was featured in numerous Chicago-area concerts in 2023.

In a 2023 interview with WFMT, Professor James A. Grymes, who worked closely with Weinstein on the way to writing the definitive book on the project, described the instruments’ profound storytelling capability. “With every passing year, there are unfortunately fewer human Holocaust survivors among us to tell their stories. These violins, as a different type of survivor, can go on for generations.”

In this regard, despite his death, Amnon Weinstein’s life’s work will long continue.