What to bear in mind

On this page we answer the questions you might not have thought of asking!

Making arrangements

Do I need to finalize everything with the quartet myself, or can it be sorted out with the people at the venue?

Some details can usually be arranged with the manager at the venue, especially regarding placement of the quartet, seating, lighting etc. Choice of music and fee arrangements should be finalized directly with the quartet.

Location

What should I bear in mind when planning where to situate the quartet?

The quartet need to be able to sit, and they need light to read by. The location may also affect the sound, see below.

What seating does the quartet need?

Four chairs without arms. Typical dining chairs are ideal.

How much space does the quartet need?

The quartet needs an area about 10 feet wide by 8 feet deep, ideally in the layout shown in the diagram below.

You should have seen an image here, of four chairs arranged in a 'D' shape within a 10x8ft rectangle. Unfortunately it won't display because you are using an out of date web browser. For best results, please use a modern browser.

We can usually rearrange ourselves to suit most venues!

How much light does the quartet need?

Enough to read by! But if your venue doesn't have lighting where you plan to put us, or if you prefer a darker atmosphere, it won't be a problem for us. Just let us know and we'll bring our own portable lighting. We may need a power source: we'll let you know if we do.

Will the quartet play outside?

Of course, weather permitting. Please warn us in advance. We may need good shade or shelter, as rain or hot sun will damage our instruments. We cannot play in windy or gusty weather. Nor can we play in temperatures below 60°F (15°C). Also, see notes below on sound.

Timing

How long will you play?

That is up to you! The quartet charges an hourly rate.

Will the musicians need food or refreshments?

The musicians will need water (jug and glasses) during an engagement. We always be grateful for offers of food or refreshment, to be taken during our scheduled breaks or before/after we play.

Do the musicians need breaks?

Yes: on average ten minutes every hour, or to fit in with breaks already scheduled.

Sound

How loud is a string quartet?

A string quartet can make enough noise to be heard in every corner of a private house; it can also play very very quietly. It does not use electric amplification. In normal circumstances, a string quartet can play and be heard in a large room in which people are conversing quietly; so that people can choose whether to listen to the music, or to the conversation.

Does the location affect the sound?

Yes. Strings sound best indoors. Outdoors, the sound will be enhanced by placement on a solid platform or by a wall.

Appearance

What do the quartet members wear?

Usually, the men wear white dinner jackets and black tie; ladies, evening dress.

Choice of Music — for occasions

Can the quartet do special requests?

Yes, of course. Please make requests early on to avoid disappointment. We may request an extra fee if costs are incurred in procuring a special quartet arrangement.

Can we leave the choice of music to the quartet?

Of course. The quartet has years of experience and has a pretty good idea of what goes down well, when.

Can I give the quartet general directions as to choice of music?

Definitely. As you can see from our repertoire, you can just tell us "stick mainly to Jazz/Baroque/Romantic" and we will be able to do the rest. If at any time during your occasion you would like us to change the mood, just let us know! You can also send us a copy of our playlist with highlighted preferences.

Choice of Music — for concerts

Is all of the listed repertoire available for concert performance?

In principle, yes. Please discuss this with us before finalizing your programme.

How much notice does the quartet require for a concert programme of my choosing?

Again, it is best to discuss it with us directly.