ETHEL BARNS (1874 - 1948)
Born in 1874, Ethel Barns entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1887, at the young age of thirteen. A gifted violinist, she frequently performed her own works, soon establishing a reputation for herself in London. She founded her own successful series of concerts with her singer husband Charles Phillips, calling them the Barns-Phillips Chamber Concerts. Gradually she came to greater public attention, and by the early twentieth century her music was being played by some of the most renowned musicians of the day, including the famous violinists Émile Sauret and Joseph Joachim. Like Ethel Smyth, Barns also sought to further the cause of women in music, and she was an active member of the newly-founded Society of Women Musicians. She died in Maidenhead on New Year’s Eve, 1948. La Chasse was published in London in 1928, a humorous work in which delicate violin and piano figurations dance mischievously around each other.
– Caroline Waight