James A. Grymes, professor of musicology and chair of the Department of Music, will speak at numerous programs across the Southeast this semester, presenting research from his book, Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour. Published by HarperCollins in 2014, Violins of Hope tells the stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust and of Amnon Weinstein, the Israeli violinmaker who brought the instruments back to life. It received the 2014 National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category and has been translated for publication in German, Japanese, and Thai.
In January, Dr. Grymes and Weinstein presented a lecture in Jacksonville, Florida, where several violins were played in a concert by the Jacksonville Symphony. He and Weinstein will return to Florida in February for two public discussions in a series of “Violins of Hope” events presented by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.
In March, Grymes will travel to Washington, D.C., where he will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, as well as Palm Beach, Florida, where he will deliver a public lecture and visit local schools in partnership with Insight Through Education, a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose purpose is to educate children about the lessons that can be gleaned from the Holocaust and genocide.
In April, Dr. Grymes will participate in the annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) commemoration for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater's Holocaust Commission in Norfolk, Virginia.
Dr. Grymes was inspired to write the book, Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour, when UNC Charlotte brought 18 Violins of Hope to Charlotte for a series of exhibitions and performances in April 2012.