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Event Inspiration/Articles/Planning/How To Hire A String Quartet

How To Hire A String Quartet

Chelsea Pellegrino


Members of the Romanza Music quartet in action! If you want entertainment that brings ambiance and elegance to your event, choosing a string quartet is a no-brainer. But what if you want modern hits? Some rock n' roll? Maybe even a little dancing? A string quartet can still be the way to go! 

Though they are traditionally known for performing at wedding ceremonies and receptions, our string quartet members can be found playing at holiday parties, club socials, corporate events and even graduation parties! As Cheza String Quartet (Denver, CO) points out, "String ensembles are wonderful because, while they have access to many musical genres, they still have a beautiful string sound that compliments most event settings very well." Our string quartet members work hard to make your event unique - that's why we have asked them to share their own tips on how to hire the perfect string quartet for your event. Here's some of the wonderful advice they provided:

Two's Company, Three's A Crowd, Four is..

...A quartet! That's right, there are four members that comprise the ensemble, which results in a full, lush sound you won't find with other kinds of entertainment. So, when should you choose a quartet rather than a trio or duo? "Unlike other small ensembles, string quartets have the largest repertoire to choose from," informs the Rondo String Quartet ( Troy, MI). This makes quartets ideal for events with an outdoor venue or a large guest list. Corda Entertainment, LLC (Greensboro, NC) suggests that if there are over 150 guests, there should also be a quartet!

Stop, Look & Listen

The best way to find which quartet will work best for your event is to listen to their work. "If you can see them at a live performance that’s great! If not, you should check out audio & video clips on GigMasters," advises The String Brothers (Buffalo, NY). Elegance String Quartet (Philadelphia, PA) stresses that picking a string quartet is no different than picking your venue or catering. They recommend setting up an appointment and meeting with the musicians to create a personal connection. Either way, you should be able to determine if the style of music matches what you have in mind. Some quartets stick to traditional classical tunes, while others play everything from Metallica to Bruno Mars, so be sure to clarify what kind of tunes you're looking for at your event.

The Cost of Quality

What exactly are you paying for when you book live entertainment like a string quartet? First and foremost, an experience. "Nothing can make as much of an impact on your ceremony as live music can," shares Kristi of Forte Quartet (Kansas City, MO). "It is often the least expensive line item for your day, but can make the biggest difference in the atmosphere of your event." We couldn't have said it better ourselves, Kristi! That's why our members stress that booking based solely on a cheap price might not result in the best performance. Travel costs and event length, as well as the time it takes to learn unique music requests, are just a few of the components factored into pricing.

Before the Event...

Once you have decided upon your perfect set of performers, there are some things that should be communicated to ensure a smooth performance. "It is also helpful for us to know where we will be placed, both for physical and acoustic reasons," says the Bellflower String Quartet (Cleveland, OH). Performers will need adequate space to play their instruments, so it would be helpful to discuss the venue set-up together. Keep in mind that these instruments are sensitive to things like sun and rain, so it is important that shade and shelter be provided during an outside event. The timeline of the event should also be reviewed to prevent unexpected surprises. To ensure even the smallest of details are covered, our members highly suggest using a contract.

Q & A

Our string quartet performers recommend asking  the following questions before you book a string quartet:

  • Do you need any special equipment (Chairs, extension cords, etc.)?
  • How much time do you need to set up?
  • How long have you been performing as a quartet?
  • What kinds of events do you typically perform at?
  • Do you have video demos, or a live performance I can attend prior to my event?
  • Why do you perform?
  • Will you learn a song if I request it in advance?

- Whether it be with Pachelbel's Canon or Coldplay's Viva La Vida, a string quartet can bring the perfect musical atmosphere to your event. Start your search here, or give us a call! 866-342-9794 Are you a string quartet looking to book more gigs?  Sign up with GigMasters today!