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Courtesy of Violins of Hope


Violins of Hope: A Talk and Performance

Sunday, Jan 19, 2020 │1:30–3pm

ADMISSION: $6 Members; $16 general (includes Museum admission)

James A. Grymes, author of National Jewish Book Award-winning Violins of Hope, will discuss the historical and symbolic importance of violins and what they teach us about human resilience. The afternoon will include a brief violin performance by Hannah Tarley. 

This program is part of Violins of Hope San Francisco Bay Area, presented in association with Music at Kohl Mansion, Burlingame, CA.

About the speakers
James A. Grymes

James A. Grymes is an internationally respected musicologist, a critically acclaimed author, and a dynamic speaker who has addressed audiences at significant public venues such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the historic 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Grymes has been featured in interviews by the New York Times, ABC News, and CNN, and has written essays for the Huffington Post and the Israeli music magazine Opus.

He is the author of Violins of Hope: Instruments of Hope and Liberation in Mankind’s Darkest Hour (Harper Perennial, 2014). A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and of the Israeli violinmaker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life. Violins of Hope won a National Jewish Book Award.

Dr. Grymes is Professor of Musicology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is represented by John Rudolph of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

Hannah Tarley

At age twelve, American violinist Hannah Tarley was appointed the youngest concertmaster in the history of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, leading the orchestra on two European Tours.

She has performed with leading musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Mark Kaplan, Nobuko Imai, Shlomo Mintz, Ray Chen, Itamar Zorman, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Shmuel Ashkenasi. She has taken part in various outreach projects for the Perlman Music Program, as well as the Heifetz Institute. A first prize winner of the New York Concerti Sinfonietta’s International Shining Stars Competition, Hannah debuted in Carnegie Hall.

Hannah Tarley is a winner of Astral's 2018 National Auditions, as well as the third prize winner of the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition. Hannah has soloed with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Academy of Conducting at Aspen Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony, Symphony Parnassus, Narva City Symphony Orchestra, Kiev Soloists, San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Lynn Philharmonia Orchestra. As both a soloist and chamber musician, she has debuted in some of the world’s most acclaimed concert halls, including Davies Symphony Hall.  Hannah has worked with numerous conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Edwin Outwater, Benjamin Schwartz, Guillermo Figueroa, and Speranza Scappucci.

Hannah is the Founder and Artistic Director of Notes By The Bay Music Festival, an exciting new children's music program in California. Founded in 2015, the Festival presents a unique platform for kids to be imaginative, create theatrical concerts that feature poetry readings and ensemble playing, as well as perform on stage alongside their artistic mentors.

She also performs with Violins of Hope, an organization that brings to life the history of the Holocaust and the stories of its victims and their violins.

Membership at the CJM

Membership at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) grants you access to an exciting array of contemporary art, music, film, and educational programming. Not a Member? Join today!


The CJM strives for a welcoming environment for all of our visitors. In addition to ample space for wheelchairs and a friendly environment for service animals, sign language interpretation (ASL) can be scheduled for all programs with at least two weeks notice.

FM assistive listening devices (ALDs) for sound enhancement are available for all talks and tours. Please note that we would like to maintain this as a scent-free environment, and encourage visitors to refrain from using scented products out of respect for visitors with allergies or chemical sensitivities. For additional accommodation requests, please contact The CJM’s Access and Community Engagement Manager at or 415-655-7856.


Public Programs at The CJM are made possible thanks to generous support from Grants for the Arts and the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.