CANCELLED: Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope

violin with Star of David
April 4, 2020 - 7:30 PM
April 5, 2020 - 2:30 PM
Halton Theater, Central Piedmont Community College

The University and Central Piedmont have been monitoring the rapidly evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been working in close collaboration with local and state resources. After careful thought and consideration, we have decided to cancel this program. This was not an easy decision, but a necessary one in protecting the health and well-being of our campus community. We hope to be able to reschedule at a later date. 

The College of Arts + Architecture, in partnership with Central Piedmont Community College, presents a musical commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust, featuring the east coast premiere of Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope and Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. Composed by internationally regarded composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope was commissioned to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, receiving its world premiere in the San Francisco Bay Area in January 2020.

Intonations is a song cycle scored for mezzo-soprano, violin soloist, and string quartet, with a concluding solo by a child violinist. The poetic text is inspired by the stories from the book Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour, written by UNC Charlotte musicologist James Grymes. Published by Harper Collins in 2014, Violins of Hope won a National Jewish Book Award. It tells this histories of violins recovered from the Holocaust by Iraeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein. UNC Charlotte presented the North American premiere of those violins in exhibition and performance in April 2012. Since then more than a dozen U.S. cities have hosted the Violins of Hope.

Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope will feature mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, assistant professor of voice at UNC Charlotte, and solo violinist Mikylah Myers from West Virginia University, performing with the Beo String Quartet of Pittsburgh. Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra violinist David Karpov joins the ensemble for the conclusion.

Following the performance of Intonations, the University Chorale and the Central Piedmont Chorus will perform Bernstein's beautiful Chichester Psalms, a setting in three movements of six Psalms, sung in Hebrew. Conducted by Alan Yamamoto, division director of visual and performing arts at Central Piedmont, Chichester Psalms will feature organist Andrew Pester and harpists Christine Leimer, a professor at Central Piedmont, and UNC Charlotte alumna Tamar Rowe, with UNC Charlotte alumnus Chris Merida on percussion. Graham Harding (Voices of the Carolinas) and J'Ericson Newby (St. Peter's Choir School) will alternate as the boy soloist. Soprano Shira Lissek, cantor at Temple Israel, will open the program with a performance of "If the World Had Cried" by Kenny Karen.

These concerts culminate the 2020 Sensoria festival, a celebration of literature and the arts at Central Piedmont Community College. Tickets are $22, $18 for seniors, and FREE for all students and are available at

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