Thursday 26 March, 2015  7:45 pm

(please note slightly later-than-advertised start-time)

Methodist Church, Station Road, Barnes, SW13 0NH


Coull Quartet -

Humanism in Music



President: Steven Isserlis


Barnes Music Society is proud to have as its President the world-famous cellist Steven Isserlis.  Born in Barnes, he comes from a very musical family.  His two sisters are professional string players (Annette a violist and Rachel a violinist), and his grandfather Julian Isserlis was a composer.


 The Society in its current form was created through a merger in 1985 of Castelnau Concerts with the Barnes Music Club, although its roots go back to the 1950s.  Our outgoing President, the late Stephen Dodgson, had been Chairman of Castlenau Concerts, whilst the new President's late father, George Isserlis, had been Chairman of the Barnes Music Club.  Both played a major role in maintaining the Society's high standards.


Barnes Music Society aims to foster appreciation of music, promoting first-class concerts, and encouraging other musical activities especially involving young musicians.  These last are achieved by the Saturday family concerts for children and by the annual concert each May given by young musicians.


Please email all enquiries about the Society and Membership to



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Location of Concerts (Map)




Barnes Music Festival

Barnes Online

The Holst Foundation

John Lewis Partnership

Making Music (NFMS)

Marsh Christian Trust

Mortlake Online

Oso Arts Centre

Richmond Parish Lands Charity

Thames Community Foundation



Barnes Music Society gratefully acknowledges financial assistance during the past year from the Barnes Workhouse Fund, the Barnes Community Association, the John S Cohen Foundation, the Holst Foundation and Chestertons




This event is one of the Society's two contributions to the 2015 Barnes Music Festival - see


Roger Coull    violin

Philip Gallaway    violin

Jonathan Barritt    viola

Nicholas Roberts    cello







Beethoven    String Quartet in F minor, Op.95


Britten    String Quartet No.2 in C major, Op.36


Sibelius    String Quartet in D minor (Voces Intimae), Op.56


Each composer rebelled against the established order of the day. Beethoven wrote music that cried out for freedom of the spirit, in an age of conformity. Britten was a wartime conscientious objector and stood by his beliefs in the face of establishment criticism. Sibelius wrote “Finlandia”, a virtual national anthem against oppression from Russia. 



David Matthews will give a pre-concert talk at 6:30 pm

David has recently been described as one of the finest living British composers.  He will talk about how his music relates to the English Tradition and why he has followed this throughout his long career.



Tickets now available for
The Coull String Quartet





‘…the magnificent, seasoned ensemble of the Coull’. (The Strad)


Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Warwick since 1977, the Coull Quartet has performed and broadcast extensively throughout the UK, the USA and Western Europe, and has also toured China, India, the Far East, South America and Australia. The Quartet, which includes two of its founder members, has appeared at most of the major music societies and festivals in the UK, and gives an annual series of recitals at Warwick Arts Centre, where it is actively involved in the University of Warwick’s flourishing musical life.


The rare combination of maturity and freshness which characterises the Quartet’s performances is often singled out by reviewers:


“Here the playing is so brimful with enthusiasm and commitment, and at the same time so infused with the accumulated wisdom of three decades, that the music simply reinvents itself as it should”. (The Strad)


Since the mid-1980s the Coull Quartet has made over 30 recordings featuring a wide selection of the repertoire closest to their hearts, from the complete Mendelssohn and Schubert quartets to 20th century and contemporary British chamber music. They currently record for Somm Records, and their disc of quartets by Maw and Britten has received universal acclaim. In addition to being featured in ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Gramophone, it was also described as the ‘Benchmark Recording’ by BBC Music Magazine. Their latest two CDs, of music by Sibelius and Ian Venables have recently received excellent reviews in the major musical publications.


“I have nothing but praise for a display so full of wisdom and musicality”
(The Gramophone)


In addition to performing most of the standard string quartet repertoire, the Coull Quartet often features modern British repertoire in its programmes. Their impressive list of commissions includes works by Sally Beamish, Edward Cowie, Joe Cutler, David Matthews, Nicholas Maw, and Robert Simpson.


For more details about the Coull Quartet, please follow this link.