James Dickenson studied both in the UK and the US and lists Lydia Mordkovitch, 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, Dickenson left the UK to lead the Degas Quartet in the US.
With this quartet, Dickenson gave concerts all over the US, in Carnegie Hall and at the Aspen Music Festival, and held various residencies in over ten universities. Since 2010 he has played with the Villiers Quartet, Resident Quartet at Oxford University.
A keen Dounis advocate, Dickenson is a regular contributor to articles published by the European String Teachers Association. He plays a violin made by Sergio Perreson in 1976.