Music of Remembrance to Stream Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope

July 22, 2021
Contact: Mina Miller, Artistic Director; Steve Griggs, Administrator
(206) 365-7770
Music of Remembrance to Stream Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope
SEATTLE, WA—Beginning August 1, Music of Remembrance (MOR) will stream an all-new performance of Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer. The performance was originally scheduled as part of live concerts at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall and San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre. Because of continuing pandemic restrictions, MOR instead created this compelling video production and will make it available around the world on its streaming platform.  

Heggie and Scheer’s powerful song cycle was inspired by the Violins of Hope, a private collection of lovingly restored string instruments that once belonged to Jews who played them before and during the Holocaust. Many were donated by or bought from survivors; some arrived through family members. Some belonged to professional musicians, and others to amateur players. These precious instruments can now sing again even though their former owners were silenced.

Through words and music, the songs of Intonations relate the extraordinary voyages of the violins and their owners. “The violins bore witness to heartbreak and horrible atrocity,” remarks artistic director Mina Miller, “and yet they represent belief in a future where music, life and beauty endure.” Each of the instruments has its own story to tell, but together they call out to us: “We were played by proud people.” 

The work was commissioned by Music at Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, California, who premiered it in early 2020 on instruments from the Violins of Hope that they had brought to the Bay Area for an immersive two-month residency. In our performance, MOR’s instrumental ensemble, featuring violinist Mikhail Shmidt as soloist, is joined by Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano Laura Krumm. Young violinist Zoe Lonsinger, the 2019 recipient of Music of Remembrance’s David Tonkonogui Memorial Award for Young Artists, joins in the work’s moving finale. 

This program is the concluding performance in Music of Remembrance’s 23rd season Endurance of Hope, bringing music with messages of strength and perseverance for our challenging time. Starting August 1, viewers can purchase passes that allow on-demand streaming for one week at The program will be available through August 31.

About Music of Remembrance

MOR remembers the Holocaust through music and honors the resilience of all people excluded or persecuted for their faith, nationality, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. In addition to rediscovering and performing music from the Holocaust, MOR has commissioned and premiered more than 30 new works by some of today’s leading composers, drawing on the Holocaust’s lessons to address urgent questions for our own time. MOR’s ensemble is drawn from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony.

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