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Profile of the Talk
Co-directors Julian Azkoul and Ariel Lang will talk about why the United Strings of Europe (USE) was founded, about their work in Europe in the Middle East, what distinguishes the group from other musical ensembles, and some of the challenges they've faced, not least with the impact of COVID-19 on the performing arts.
At the heart of the United Strings of Europe's success lies a musical and business partnership. The members of the USE bridged their diverse cultures through music. This had an impact beyond the concert hall.
The ensemble is recognized for its exciting performances, original programming, and outreach work in collaboration with charities, educational institutions and social enterprises in the UK, France, Lebanon and Switzerland. Julian and Ariel signed a recording deal during the first wave of the pandemic with the prestigious independent record label BIS Records, and released the ensemble's debut album In Motion in November 2020 (See below). This has helped them develop a multi-year plan for the ensemble.
Visit the website of the United Strings of Europe and a sample on YouTube:
Violinist Julian Azkoul is a guest concertmaster of Camerata Nordica in Sweden and Camerata Venia in Switzerland and has featured as a soloist with the Lebanese National Philharmonic Orchestra and several chamber orchestras. Julian's chamber music partners include Walter Delahunt, Ofer Falk, Joel Quarrington, German Clavijo, Burt Wathen, David McCarroll, the Allegri and Piatti string quartets. A regular guest, he has co-led the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and is the co-leader of Camerata Alma Viva. Julian regularly performs with the London Symphony Orchestra at major festivals and venues around the world as well as the Geneva Chamber Orchestra and Les Siècles Orchestra. Raised primarily in Geneva, Switzerland, Julian went on to study at King’s College, Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. He is the Artistic Director of the United Strings of Europe and the first violinist of the Aurea String Quartet.
Born in Paris, French/American violinist Ariel Lang completed his Bachelors and Masters degree under Jack Liebeck at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating with distinction (DipRAM) in 2016. An avid orchestral musician, he has performed with such orchestras as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and the London Sinfonietta. He is also principal second violin of the United Strings of Europe chamber orchestra, with whom he tours Europe and the Middle East. He has been concertmaster of the Royal Academy Symphony and Concert Orchestras on numerous occasions under the baton of Edward Gardner, Semyon Bychkov, Christian Thielemann as well as having led sections at the Royal Academy Sainsbury Soloists with Clio Gould.
A committed chamber musician, he has co-founded the prize-winning Omega trio, the Tagus Quartet, which received a Royal Academy Chamber Music Fellowship and has partnered with the Doric Quartet to play the Mendelssohn Octet and the Arcana Ensemble. Ariel plays on a violin by Peter Greiner.
Praise for the United Strings of Europe's debut album In Motion:
‘...the powerful and atmospheric interpretation of Amalia Hall and the United Strings of Europe [is] immediately appealing' - Pizzicato Magazine
‘...if you are interested in brilliant string playing, a terrific sense of ensemble and vibrant character then this is certainly the disc for you.’ - Robert Hugill