Here's our helpful guide to string quartets. Drawing upon our seventeen years of industry experience performing across East Anglia & London,  we think we've covered just about everything you'd need to know about string quartets, and we hope to share a  little more insight into how Scintillo can contribute to your plans.

What does a string quartet consist of, and what do they do?

An acoustic string quartet like Scintillo is made up of two violins, a viola and a cello. As well as giving concerts and recitals, the versatility of a string quartet makes the ensemble a perfect choice for weddings, private events and special occasions. With a wide ranging repertoire of Classical, Pop, Jazz and music from TV, Film & Theatre our performance  can be tailored to any event. 

An acoustic quartet, which is unamplified so doesn't require a power point, can easily change locations at an event, promptly travel between venues if required and perform outside. Highly experienced and sensitive musicians can also easily adapt their performance levels to suit any space they're playing in, and to complement the number of guests.

A string quartet can create any ambience, from the romance of a wedding ceremony, the upbeat mood of a celebratory drinks reception, or the sophistication of a black tie corporate event. 

Many string quartets will have a trio option where space or budgetary requirements are a consideration. 

How do I recognise good quality?

Here are a few things to look out for when choosing to book any musician.

Audio & Video

Professional musicians should have demos which showcase the range of music they offer, with high quality sound and visuals. Look out to see if the musicians perform in a range of musical styles, but always have a great sound, good timing and tuning. Look for great ensemble skills; do the group look like they're playing confidently, equally comfortable together and well as a unit?

At Scintillo we share natural recordings, clean and free from heavy editing or reverb which many groups use to enhance their demos.This way our clients gain a realistic impression of how we will sound,  and for this reason we also sometimes share video clips on social media of us live at events. We want our clients to know how we'll look and sound in real life.


Professional musicians should have invested in high quality images for their website, showing how they present themselves. Look for a variety of shots on their social media accounts and images of them at actual events to see how they appear in real life.

Testimonials & Social Media

If you haven't been able to meet them in person, genuine testimonials, reviews and comments from clients on public social media pages can give you an impression of the musicians you're booking. Reading how they respond to their clients can also be very helpful in allowing you to get a feel for their level of rapport, approachability, commitment, expertise and personality.

Look for a group who share their interest in the work they do - if they're constantly sharing the same type of posts are they really offering a bespoke service?  We value each of our clients as individuals - each event we play for is unique and we love the variety this brings to our work. 

Instruments & Equipment

Professional musicians will play on well kept and valuable high quality instruments and have durable, sturdy music stands and well kept and maintained music to play from.

At Scintillo we're fortunate to have wonderful instruments and our sound quality is always commented upon. Unlike many groups we've also invested in professional quality instruments for 'outdoor' jobs so our sound isn't compromised. 


Read about the musicians you're booking. Are they happy to share their musical experience, the type of work they've undertaken and any corporate clients and venues they've performed at? Look for an extensive repertoire list which covers a range of styles which will have been built over many years; as tastes and fashions have changed our repertoire has too.

A well established group within an area should hold a reputation for commitment, expertise and professionalism with prestigious venues and have worked with high profile events planners, many of whom may recommend their work.

Scintillo's guide to hiring a string quartet
Everything you need to know about a string quartet


It is always worth remembering that when booking musicians the quality of the service they provide is the result of many years of professional training, their experience as musicians and the instruments & equipment they've invested in.

Sadly, some musicians charge premiums for wedding bookings but at Scintillo we keep our charges fair and based upon location and duration. We pride ourselves in delivering a personal and professional service from the moment you contact us right through to our performance at your event.

Of course if you'd like us to travel to London, the fee will be more than for a local booking in Suffolk or Essex. However, we always give a complete and transparent quote so unexpected extras aren't added on at a later date.

What should happen once I make my enquiry?

A professional group who are used to liaising with clients should send you a friendly reply fairly swiftly, answer any questions you may have and confirm their availability, quote and details of how to book them should you wish to.

If you wanted to secure their services, your musicians should contract your booking with them and give full details of their services, any specific requirements you may have, and their payment terms.

It's often good to know the contact details of the person your communicating with and who'll be your point of contact as it's not unknown for musicians and fixers to take bookings and outsource the work entirely  to other groups.  It's always worth discussing this with your musicians to see who'll be playing for you on the day of your event.

At Scintillo our cellist Chris manages our  bookings and, in addition to emailing, is always happy to speak on the telephone or via video call. If he's unable to play for your event, he will ensure you have a point of contact for on the day.

What should be arranged ahead of my event?

The details of your event, such as timings, the venue or venues, music choices and any specific requirements should be arranged well in advance. Your venue may also request copies of Public Liability Insurance or PAT documents from your musicians, or ask to liaise with them directly regarding their arrival time and requirements.

We aim to have everything in place for our clients by the time their final balance is due, and if details change we are always happy to make adjustments as soon as we are informed. We often liaise directly with venue coordinators and events planners on behalf of our clients.

At Scintillo we welcome input from our clients and are always happy to chat about any aspect of their booking with us, from music choices to our dress code. 

What will a string quartet do on the day of my event?

Your quartet should arrive in good time to liaise with the team at your venue, set up, tune and rehearse any music they need to.  At Scintillo we aim to arrive between 30 and 45 minutes ahead of your booking start time.

On the day your musicians should carry out their services as already agreed with you and should provide their own instruments, music, music stands and stand lights if needed. 

We always ensure we have made contact with our clients in good time to confirm the finer details, and so we can arrange our playlists and rehearse in advance of your date, so upon arrival we are able to meet your expectations and effortlessly provide our services.

What will the quartet require?

On the day, your quartet will need four armless chairs and reasonable space in which to play.They will also usually ask your venue if there is a safe place in which they're able to store their instrument and music cases, and any personal belongings. If your event is outside, they will need a shaded area to protect their instruments, and cannot play outside in rain or strong wind.

Some groups request food and refreshments as part of their contracted terms - at Scintillo we only request water from your venue. 

And finally…

Booking musicians for your event should be a positive experience, and on the day should enhance your occasion.In the run up to your event, their input should help your planning.

We hope this guide has been informative and interesting - please feel free to read our FAQ's. We try to make the enquiry and booking process as effortless and as straightforward as possible for our clients so we can all enjoy focussing on our musical input to your event. 

We'd love to credit the wonderful photographers for the shots of us used in this article - thank you to each of you!

Scintillo String Trio at Pentney Abbey in Norfolk, by Hannah Brodie.

Scintillo String Quartet at Woodhall Manor near Woodbridge in Suffolk, by Ben Minnaar.

Scintillo String Quartet's cellist at Gosfield Hall in Essex, by Sally Rawlins.

Aldeburgh, Aylsham, Baldock, Burwell, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge (Cambridgeshire), Cromer, Diss, Ely, Eye, Fakenham, Framlingham, Great Yarmouth, Halesworth, Haverhill, Holt, Ipswich, King's Lynn, Lowestoft, Mildenhall, Newmarket, North Walsham, Norwich, Royston, Saxmundham, Sheringham, Thetford, Tiptree, Wells, Wisbech, Woodbridge, Wymondham.

Contact the Scintillo String Quartet

Call 07786 228388

© Scintillo String Quartet

© Scintillo String Quartet