Villiers Quartet - Radcliffe Chamber Music Residency

James Dickenson, Violin I

Tamaki Higashi, Violin II
Carmen Flores, Viola
Nick Stringfellow, Cello

The Villiers Quartet is one of the most charismatic and “adventurous” quartets of the British chamber music scene (The Strad). Nothing is outside of the VQ’s repertoire as they define the string quartet for the 21st century. Dedicated to the established works of Beethoven, Haydn, and Mendelssohn, they have also developed a reputation as exceptional interpreters of English composers including Elgar, Britten, Delius, George Butterworth, and William Sterndale Bennett. Having toured across the UK and internationally, they have been declared “one of the best young quartets around today” (Jerry Horner, Fine Arts Quartet), and their performances of Shostakovich and Tischenko have been hailed as “masterful playing.” (Classical Source)

They have been a featured quartet in numerous festivals including the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival, the Brit Jazz Fest, the Barnes Music Festival, and the British Music Society. Known for championing the works of British composers, the VQ has been invited to present masterclasses at Dartmouth College, Syracuse University, Goshen College, and the University of Nottingham. Their internationally acclaimed VQ New Works Competition encourages audiences to interact with contemporary music performance online, and supports the creation of new works for string quartet. The next competition will take place in May 2016 at Oxford.

Named after Villiers Street in London’s colourful musical epicentre, the Villiers Quartet encompasses the grand and iconic spirit of the extraordinary music tradition in London. Their debut CD for Naxos, The Complete Quartets of Robert Still, was praised for their “sublimely articulate and concentrated readings,” (Gramophone) and received 5**** stars in Classical Music Magazine. They were the featured quartet on the soundtrack to the BBC One TV drama, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and they have been appointed Resident Quartet at Nottingham High School, the alma mater of novelist DH Lawrence. Highlights of the VQ’s 2015/16 season include return visits to the USA, new recordings of the Elgar and Delius Quartets, and music by composer Peter Racine Fricker.

The Villiers Quartet are winners of the 2015 Radcliffe Chamber Music Competition, and they are pleased to be part of the Oxford community as Quartet-in-Residence at the Oxford Faculty of Music.