Remembering through music

Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a performance and a conversation about Violins of Hope

January 27, 2023

This event has passed.

Several restored violins are pictured leaning on each other in a pile. Each of the violins carry at least one Star of David Partially obscured.

Courtesy of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Event details

Garden of Contemplation, Level 3

We invite you to join us in commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day for a powerful and moving performance by Sonia Lazar. A violinist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Lazar will perform on a violin from the Violins of Hope collection.

Founded by luthier Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshi, Violins of Hope is a collection of instruments that belonged to victims of the Holocaust. Donated and lovingly restored, these violins connect people through music and tell the stories of their original owners.

As part of this program, Shelley Faintuch, former Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, will discuss the significance of these violins and how some of them were discovered.

The event is free to attend, and all are welcome.


Sonia Lazar

Headshot of Sonia Lazar holding a violin

A member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s first violin section since 2016, Lazar was born in Moscow, Russia, and spent her early childhood years in Israel, on a kibbutz. She started taking violin lessons at age eight, when her family moved to Calgary. Her passion for violin and orchestral performance has taken her to perform in New Zealand, Spain and Portugal, and in 2012, she performed as concertmaster of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall, New York. Lazar received a Bachelor of Music degree from Lynn University in Florida, and went on to receive a Master of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Shelley Faintuch

Headshot of Shelley Faintuch

Shelley Faintuch, a child of Holocaust survivors, was a gold medalist in Honors French at the University of Winnipeg. She completed graduate and post graduate work in linguistics at Laval University where she also taught, published and coordinated English as a Second Language. Sensing growing antisemitism, Shelley moved to Toronto then to Vancouver where her son, Zev, was born. Family means everything to Shelley, so she returned to Winnipeg to raise her son near her parents. As the Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg for over 20 years, Shelley represented the Jewish community to the private and public sectors and provided education about the consequences of hate. She speaks English, French, and Hebrew. Shelley loves theatre, cinema, music and dance.