Carmen Flores is a musician dedicated to creating new pathways for experiencing and performing classical music. From 2007 – 2019 Carmen was Principal Viola of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, performing with the orchestra across the UK and abroad for the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Carmen has performed as soloist and Guest Principal Viola with orchestras and ensembles including English National Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Orchestra of the Swan, the English Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Sinfonia VIVA, and Sarabande, and in spring 2021 she will perform as soloist with the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra.
She is a founding member of the acclaimed Villiers Quartet (VQ), hailed as one of the most “adventurous” string quartets in the UK (Strad Magazine) and “Champions of British Music” (Guardian), and they have made several acclaimed recordings on the Naxos, Somm, and Lyrita record labels.
As part of the Villiers Quartet, which is Quartet-in-Residence at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building at Oxford University. She is a recipient of the prestigious US Fulbright Award, and she has given performance masterclasses at the University of Nottingham, Oxford University, Dartmouth College, Birmingham Conservatoire, and Sheffield University, among others.
Carmen’s international career has seen her perform throughout the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe and she has been featured on several BBC Radio and Television broadcasts, including BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, and The Andrew Marr Show. She has participated in Les Jardins Musicaux Festivals (Switzerland), Tanglewood (USA), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Oundle International Festival (UK), and the Boyne Music Festival (Ireland).
She is Director of the Nottingham Chamber Music Festival (NCMF), which celebrates chamber music and the arts every summer at venues across the city. She has also served as advisor on programming to NTU’s University Hall and has worked with closely with many concert venues and music societies to create music programmes and artist residencies. She performs on a viola made in 2006 by British luthier William Castle.