Violins of Hope - February 2022

Man holding a violin.


Violins of Hope South Carolina

Kalin and Sharon Tchonev

Founders of Varna International


This spring, two international performance companies—Israel’s Violins of Hope and Varna International of Columbia, SC—will conduct a four-week tour across South Carolina, incorporating local musicians in large-scale concerts and educational settings to remember and honor those who perished – and survived – in the Holocaust. The family histories of the founders of both organizations blend with poignant, heroic, and inspiring stories from the Holocaust. Audiences filled with people of all faiths and backgrounds will be spellbound with musical majesty.

Local musicians will play the Israeli-restored violins once played by Jewish violinists in the death camps and carrying a musical message of beauty and bravery overcoming despair. Woven together, the concerts will also present the little-known story of Bulgaria’s miraculous rescue of its 49,000 Jewish citizens – the largest in Europe – from Nazi deportation in 1943.

Violins of Hope founder Amnon Weinstein and his son Avshi have restored sixty Holocaust-era violins, each with a profound story. Avshi will accompany the violins in South Carolina and speak in many educational fora. Amnon, who lost four hundred family members in the Holocaust, is now honoring them to play again.

Kalin and Sharon Tchonev, a husband-wife team, founded Varna International, which specializes in large choral-orchestral concerts, international performance tours, and music training academies. Sharon’s grandparents were among those rescued by Bulgarians in World War II, who later immigrated to Israel where she was born.

The large-scale concerts take place on April 24 in Myrtle Beach, April 28 (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in North Charleston, May 4 in Greenville, and May 8 in Columbia. Visit to purchase tickets and for information.

To become a sponsor contact Melanie Boyer, Corporate Sponsorship Manager, 803-737-3289 or via email at