Thursday 3 April, 2014  7:30 pm

St Mary's Church, Church Road, Barnes, SW13 9HL


Villiers String Quartet

This event is the Society's contribution to the 2014 Barnes Music Festival


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 1950's.  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



Read Review of Divertimenti String Quintet's Concert on 5 December 2009:


"There is no reason to assume that outstanding chamber music performances in the London area should be confined to Wigmore Hall, Kings Place or the Purcell Room..."




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Barnes Community Association

Barnes Music Festival

Barnes Online

Barnes Workhouse Fund

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 and the Holst Foundation






James Dickenson    violin

Tamaki Higashi    violin

Carmen Flores    viola

Nick Stringfellow    cello

with special guest Daire Halpin    soprano





Elgar    Quartet in E minor, Op.83

Delius    Quartet

Holst    4 songs for voice & violin, Op.35

Robert Still    Quartet No.1 in A minor


Tickets now available for
Villiers String Quartet



James Dickenson studied both in the UK and the USA and lists Lydia Mordkvitch, Danny Phillips, Jerry Horner, Wen Zhou Li, and Christopher Rowland as some of his many teachers and mentors.  After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, James left the UK to lead the Degas Quartet in the USA.  With this quartet James gave concerts all over the USA, in Carnegie Hall and at the Aspen Music Festival, and held various residencies in over ten universities.  Since leaving the quartet in 2007, James returned to the UK to continue his teaching, performing, and chamber music career.  An advocate of new music, James has worked closely with many American composers, including Jeffrey Mumford, Andrew Waggoner, and he is currently commissioning a new piece for violin from Shafer Mahoney.


Japanese-born violinist Tamaki Higashi started violin at the age of seven and was a multiple winner of the South Japan Music Competition in her hometown of Kagoshima.  She was invited to study with Lewis Kaplan in New York City, and she received both her bachelors and masters degrees from the Mannes College of Music.  After graduating in 2002 she founded the Degas Quartet.  Together with her husband James, the Degas Quartet held residencies at Syracuse University and with the Western Piedmont Symphony, working closely with the Cassatt Quartet and Earl Carlyss of the Juilliard Quartet.  The Degas Quartet toured frequently within the United States and was featured live on NPR broadcasts, appearing in many prestigious venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, and the Library of Congress.  Tamaki and James moved to the UK in 2007, and since then she has enjoyed a busy schedule as recitalist, teacher, and chamber musician. A passionate advocate for music education and community outreach, Tamaki organised several music projects in North Carolina, USA and Kagoshima, Japan, bringing chamber music to local schools and children's groups.  Tamaki plays on a fine Italian violin by Antonio Ungarini of Fabriano, 1740.


Carmen Flores attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and studied viola at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada.  Her principal teachers were Yizhak Schotten and Steven Dann.  In 2007 she was appointed Principal Viola of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the orchestra of the Birmingham Royal Ballet.  She has also performed as guest principal viola with the orchestras of the Canadian Opera Company and the English National Opera.  Carmen has performed chamber music with many artists and groups including Claude Frank, Joseph Silverstein, Midori, and the Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble. A recipient of the US Fulbright Award to the Philippines, Carmen retains a strong interest in music history. She plays on a viola made in 2006 by British luthier William Castle.


Nick Stringfellow began his musical education at Chetham’s School of Music, performing in masterclasses at an early age with Heinrich Schiff and Janos Starker.  After further study at the Royal Northern College of Music with Clive Greensmith, he completed his training at the Royal College of Music, studying jointly with Anna Shuttleworth and Anthony Pleeth.  Nick cut his chamber music teeth as cellist with the London Mozart Ensemble alongside violinist David le Page.  He is Principal Cellist with the Orchestra of the Swan, often appearing as soloist with the orchestra and taking part in its extensive education and outreach programmes.  Nick has performed with many ensembles including the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and the Brook Street Band, and he has recorded for EMI, Naxos, Somm and Orfeo labels.  He is the featured cellist on Schott’s Baroque around the World series and his trio Spirituoso is resident ensemble at Handel House.

Daire Halpin is an Irish soprano based in London. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Conservatorio Statale di Musica ‘Luigi Cherubini’ (Florence) and the prestigious Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Daire has made a number of recordings including Lyric fm’s number 1 best-selling Joyce Songs and the soundtrack for BBC Radio 4’s recent adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses. Her performance of Lucy Lockitt (Beggar’s Opera) for the European Opera Centre with the Liverpool Philharmonic will be released later this year. Daire’s operatic appearances include: Hulda (The Alma Fetish-Raymond Deane – world premiere) Wide Open Opera/National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Julia (Duchess of Malfi–Torsten Rasch–world premiere production) English National Opera,  Adina (Elisir D’Amore) Pavilion Opera, Diana (Orpheus and the Underworld) Scottish Opera/NI Opera/Young Vic, Hilde (The Lady from the Sea–Craig Armstrong–world premiere production) Scottish Opera, Gianetta (The Gondoliers) RTE Concert Orchestra Proserpina/Ninfa (Orfeo) Opera Theatre Company, Jano (Jenufa) and Amor (Orfeo) Opera Ireland,  Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) Yorke Trust and Endellion Festival, Theodora (Title Role) and Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Yorke Trust, Despina (Cosi fan Tutte) and Susanna (Nozze di Figaro) Candlelight Opera. Daire is equally at home on the concert stage and has recently performed as a soloist with the European Union Youth Orchestra on tour in London and Reykjavik.