United Strings of Europe

Award: Recording And Releasing Music (Do it Differently)

Year: 2020

Genre: Classical

Location: London

Website: unitedstringseurope.com

The United Strings of Europe has earned praise for its original programming and ‘virtuosically expressive’ playing (The Times), delighting audiences across Europe and the Middle East with performances ‘full of life and of an exceptional calibre’ (L’Impérial). Bound by friendship and years of experience playing together, the ensemble brings together outstanding players from across Europe for intensive periods of touring and recording.

Into the third season of its New Horizons International Artist Concert Series at Conway Hall in London (supported by Arts Council England), USE fosters collaborations with celebrated soloists including violinists Amalia Hall and Itamar Zorman, and flautist Sébastian Jacot. Guest artists in 2020 include soprano Joanna Songi, pianist Simon Callaghan and jazz composer Denis Badault. The ensemble holds annual residencies in Lebanon as well as at the Théâtre Molière in Sète, France, and gives regular performances in Switzerland.

Sharing a desire to explore different music and styles, the United Strings of Europe is at the forefront of developing new audiences, championing living composers and commissioning original work. Highlights include bespoke arrangements of chamber and vocal music, the world première of Houtaf Khoury’s 'Et le vent qui souffle...', national premières of works by Osvaldo Golijov, Matthew Hindson, Gareth Farr, Arturo Corrales, Arvo Pärt, Cyril Squire, Stevan Hrsitic, Mateja Marinkovic, Charbel Rouhana, Bechara El-Khoury and Pēteris Vasks, and commissions from Jasmin Kent Rodgman and David Winkler.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, United Strings of Europe signed a multi-record deal with leading independent classical label BIS Records. Their debut album 'In Motion' (Nov 2020) released online and on SACD features world premiere recordings of new works, original arrangements and a collaboration with violinist Amalia Hall.

Determined to reach beyond the concert hall, the ensemble has developed an innovative education programme that includes workshops tailored to young people, music students, composers and conductors, as well as work with refugees and under-privileged groups in partnership with charities and social enterprises in the UK and Lebanon.

'...the performers delivered both light and shadow, and the counterpoint was dazzling'
Le Midi Libre (27 Nov 2016)
Help Musicians' support will enable us to hold a virtual launch event to mark the release of our debut album 'In Motion', combining live performances with interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and other exclusive content. The award will ensure we further develop our digital skills and find new ways to reach and grow our audience. Additional support through the business advice sessions with ThinkMusic will help us to plan for future development and realise ambitious projects as the industry adapts to the new reality.