cast + crew

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United Strings of Europe

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 second 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 as well as 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 new works. Highlights include bespoke arrangements of chamber music and vocal works, 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.

 

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.

In November 2020, the United Strings of Europe will release its debut album In Motion with leading independent classical label BIS Records featuring world premiere recordings of new works, original arrangements and a collaboration with violinist Amalia Hall.

“The audience will remember the impeccable quality of the ensemble, especially the joy they exhibit playing together, palpable throughout their performance.”   L’Impartial - November 2018

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Vilma Jackson 

Born in Mozambique, growing up in Portugal before eventually moving to London, Vilma Jackson is a deaf performance artist and works across artforms including film, stage, television drama, music video, public service broadcasting and theatre.

 

She works with both hearing and deaf actors and directors. Vilma believes there is a place for deaf actors in hearing theatre and film. In fact, the hearing world benefits because techniques from deaf theatre can enhance dramatic effect. 

In 2020 Jackson wrote, produced and performed in a short film, "Triple Oppression", which deals with the challenges she faces as black, Deaf and a woman. The short won Best Inspirational Film at the New York Film Awards and the FilmCon Awards.

Read Vilma Jackson's recent BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour interview on how 2020 has shaped her work here.

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Jasmin Kent Rodgman Director & Composer

Anglo-Chinese Artist & Composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman brings together the contemporary classical, electronics and sound art worlds to create powerful soundscapes and musical identities. A regular collaborator & creator across various art forms including film, dance, word and VR, her projects explore otherness, memory, connection and plays with a sense of narrative.

As a Producer, she strives to create bold new platforms for her music including visual artwork, site-specific and multidisciplinary theatrical productions. Equally focussed on where and how her work is experienced, she often experiments with unique set-ups such as audiowalks, interactive installations, underground nights, 360° film and more, constantly seeking to engage new and wider audiences.

Activism has an important place within her output and much of her work investigates and challenges ideas centred around the female form, race and cultural heritage.

Laura Seward Director of Photography

Laura is an Irish Director of Photography based in London. She has both Irish and American passports and is a member of the International Collective of Female Cinematographers (ICFC).
 
Laura was born in the U.S but grew up all over the world and has a background in action sports. Before getting into the film industry, she worked as a ski instructor for 4 years whilst gaining a BA in History from University of York. She then pursued her MA in Filmmaking at the London Film School and graduated 2017, specialising in Cinematography.

Laura's work has taken her all over the world, from Iceland to Pakistan. Her work on "Bound" (2018) was runner up at the Oscar qualifying Cork Film Festival. 

With a passion for cinematography and a strong background in action sports she has worked as a cinematographer and in the camera dept. with Sky Sports, BBC, Coca Cola, Toyota, Budweiser, Adidas, Formula 1, Red Bull, LadBible and many more.

www.lauraseward.com