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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
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 Chethamís 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 Schottís Baroque around the World series and his trio Spirituoso is resident ensemble at Handel House.