Michèle Fizaine - Midi Libre (Newspaper)
“These chamber players make a sound and sustain a level of engagement that is simply outstanding. Their energy is equal to that of their concert last year, but the enthusiasm of a nearly full house makes it even more memorable...They have lots of rare qualities: profound listening, a real complicity and refined expressivity.”
Ribal Molaeb, Artistic Director of the Molaeb Festival for Chamber Music and Fine Arts
“The United String of Europe’s first performance at the Molaeb Festival for Chamber Music and Fine Arts in May 2016 was particularly significant, as they were the first European ensemble to perform in this part of Mount Lebanon. They acted as the ambassadors of European musical culture to Lebanon and the audience was ecstatic. This orchestra consists of string musicians with different European backgrounds who are ready and open to the discovery of exotic locations and performing new music in unique venues. The Molaeb Festival is honoured to have them as artists in residence at the Jamil Molaeb Museum.”
“I’ve worked with Julian Azkoul and the United Strings of Europe on many recording sessions, and they have always – without fail – delivered impeccable results, all the time being extremely musically flexible and responsive to alternative ideas and artistic perspectives, which aren’t commonly found traits. The United Strings of Europe consists of masterful individual musicians who, when playing together, exhibit a level of synergy that is the staple of a world-class ensemble. We are planning more recordings in 2019.”
Dr Arturo Corrales, Composer/Conductor and Professor of Composition at
University of Geneva
“The United Strings of Europe has performed two of my works, Señores les voy a contar... (in Switzerland in 2016 and in Lebanon in 2017) and the very demanding Mono Espacial in a string orchestra version in Geneva in March 2018. The quality of the ensemble’s playing is world class and the group is hungry for new repertoire and experiences.”
L’Impartial (Newpaper), 2nd November 2017
“Full of life and of an exceptional calibre, USE brings together musicians from the UK, France, Estonia, Holland, Switzerland, Bulgaria and the USA, driven by their brilliant Anglo-Lebanese leader Julian Azkoul...The audience will remember the impeccable quality of the ensemble, and especially the joy they exhibit playing together, palpable throughout their performance.”
John Aram, Head of Music, International School of Geneva
The International School of Geneva invited the United Strings of Europe for a week’s residency at the school in May 2018. The orchestra gave workshops and taster concerts to a range of age groups, from Year 1 through Year 13. The orchestra also worked with International Baccalaureate students who had written compositions for the orchestra to play and they performed with our community choir. In each case the enthusiasm and professionalism of the entire group was remarkable. The children’s concerts were at an appropriate level and the joy from the musicians made this compelling for the students. Each member of the group was fully engaged and took turns to speak or demonstrate to the class. The ease at which they did this and the enthusiasm shown by all demonstrated a well-rehearsed and accomplished plan. The work with the older students was exceptional. The orchestra gave these young composers the respect and the time they needed to refine their music and the resulting recordings were of a very high quality. The concert with our choir was also a huge success, which displayed a challenging but very well thought-out programme. I wholeheartedly endorse this group, for their professionalism and for their enthusiasm. They are able to communicate easily and successfully with all audiences, regardless of age and experience.
Dr Arturo Corrales, Composer/Conductor and Professor of Composition at University of Geneva
They have fully embraced their roles as musical ambassadors and educators. I organised a residency/masterclass entitled Open Strings at the Geneva Conservatory with my composition class where each student wrote a work to be performed by the United Strings of Europe exploring new and unusual instrumental techniques and notation. It was an incredible opportunity for the students to hear their pieces performed and to get feedback from professional musicians and conductor. It has been an enormous pleasure to work with USE.
Camille Longinotti (16, participant) Published in L’Impartial on 9/11/2017
‘The working atmosphere was brilliant! The musicians of USE were lovely, funny and relaxed but so professional and of such a high calibre. With them everything became so easy. We were submerged in their sound world, they took us to the heart of the music.’
Gwenaële Michel, artistic director of Drômans Cadences
'On the musical, artistic and human level, the results surpassed all expectations. The chemistry with the young musicians worked so well, we couldn't believe they had only been playing together for three days.'