There are 26 very special instruments in Nashville right now.

The "Violins of Hope," stringed instruments that were salvaged and restored from the Holocaust era, are now the stars of a new Nashville Symphony series and free exhibit at the Nashville Public Library.

Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein and his son, Aveshalom, fought to restore the instruments, which were played by Jews during the Hollocaust, over the last few decades.

Orchestras around the world have used them in concert, but they were recorded for the first time ever in Nashville on Saturday during the Symphony's performance of Jonathan Leshnoff's Symphony No. 4 “Heichalos," which was written especially for this concert.

At concerts this weekend, the symphony also performed selections of John Williams' score for the movie Schindler's List.

On Monday, the instruments will move to the Nashville Public Library where they can be seen in a

free exhibit

.

“We’ve all been waiting for the Violins of Hope to arrive at the Library,” said NPL Director Kent Oliver. “The entire city is wrapping its arms around this collection. We wanted to be at the center of that movement by providing an open, edifying space for people to experience these instruments and what they represent.”

The exhibit showcases each instrument and the story behind it as well as a re-creation of Weinstein's workshop to teach visitors about how they were restored.

While the violins are on display, other free events, concert and movie viewings will be held around the city.

The exhibit is free and open to the public at the Main Library, 615 Church St. in downtown Nashville, until May 27 (except for April 9 – 14, when instruments will go to Birmingham, Ala., for concerts there).

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