Walter Bitner

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Violins of Hope Come to Music City

Nashville Symphony music director Giancarlo Guerrero fields questions from reporters ~ Violins of Hope press conference, September 12, 2017, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville (click photos to enlarge)

On Tuesday, September 12, the Nashville Symphony hosted a press conference at Schermerhorn Symphony Center to announce the city-wide collaboration effort to bring the world-famous Violins of Hope to Nashville in the spring of next year.

A diverse array of local organizations – including the Nashville Symphony, Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Nashville Public Library, Nashville Ballet, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music and many more – will bring this rare collection of instruments – the majority of which were played by Jewish musicians interned in concentration camps during the Holocaust – to Nashville from Israel in mid-March 2018.

Restored and refurbished by Israeli luthiers Amnon and Avshi Weinstein, the Violins of Hope will be the centerpiece of a months-long initiative designed to foster a city-wide dialogue on music, art, social justice and free expression.

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Vanderbilt Music & Mind Kickoff

Ingram Hall lobby during a break at the Vanderbilt Music & Mind Kickoff to the Society for Music Perception and Cognition 2015 Conference, August 1, 2015

Ingram Hall lobby during a break at the Vanderbilt Music & Mind Kickoff to the Society for Music Perception and Cognition 2015 Conference, August 1, 2015

This week (August 1-5) Vanderbilt University hosted the biennual Conference of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition.  Many scientists and researchers from around the world descended on Music City to attend the five-day meeting, attending lectures, presentations, symposiums, and other events. The week’s activities are a means for scientists, musicians, and others to share and learn about the many facets of current research in music understanding from a far-flung collection of fields including music theory, psychology, psychophysics, linguistics, neurology, neurophysiology, ethology, ethnomusicology, artificial intelligence, computer technology, physics, and engineering.

On Saturday, August 1, Kelley Bell (Nashville Symphony Education & Community Engagement Program Manager) and I attended the Music & Mind Kickoff event on the opening day of the conference, which was held at Blair School of Music’s Ingram Hall.

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