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Solar Strings

The string quartet with experience, professionalism & an extensive repertoire of classical, jazz, tangos, film themes & slick pop tunes. Solar Strings are the perfect choice for any wedding, dinner, corporate function or private party in the North!

Price from £621 + travel

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Secure your 2021 / 2022 booking before the 31st October 2021, and if Covid affects your event plans, we will offer 100% deposit credit to be used against new bookings.

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Event Photos

  • Event Solar Strings String Quartet Cramlington, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Event Solar Strings String Quartet Cramlington, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Event Solar Strings String Quartet Cramlington, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Event Solar Strings String Quartet Cramlington, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Event Solar Strings String Quartet Cramlington, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Set List / Repertoire

Suite no. 3 in D - Bach
Air on the G String - Bach
Arioso - Bach
Wachet Auf - Bach
Sheep May Safely Graze - Bach
Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 - Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - Bach
String Quartet no. 6 in Bb Major - Beethoven
Ode To Joy - Beethoven
Habanera from Carmen - Bizet
The Toreador’s Song from Carmen - Bizet
Minuet - Boccherini
String Quartet no.2 - Borodin
Hungarian Dance no. 5 - Brahms
Trumpet Voluntary - Clarke
Christmas Concerto - Corelli
Clair de Lune - Debussy
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair - Debussy
The Flower Song from Lakme - Delibes
O Sole Mio di - Capua
Chanson de Matin - Elgar
Nimrod - Elgar
Salut d’amour - Elgar
Serenade for Strings - Elgar
Pavane - Faure
Panis Angelicus - Franck
Norwegian Melody - Grieg
Suite from Peer Gynt - Grieg
Wedding Day at Troldhaugen - Grieg
The Holberg Suite - Grieg
Aria from Xerxes - Handel
Entrance of the Queen of Sheba - Handel
The Water Music Suites - Handel
Concerto Grosso no.5 - Handel
Music from the Royal Fireworks - Handel
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni
Various string quartets - Haydn
Various string quartets - Beethoven
Palladio - Jenkins
Liebestraum - Liszt
Meditation from Thais - Massenet
Wedding March - Mendelssohn
Alleluja from Exultate Jubilate - Mozart
Andante from Piano Concerto n. 21 - Mozart
Der Vogelfanger from The Magic Flute - Mozart
Divertimenti no. 1,2 & 3 - Mozart
Bei Mannern from The Magic Flute - Mozart
Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffman - Offenbach
Infernal Galop (Can Can) - Offenbach
Canon in D - Pachelbel
Troika (xmas) - Prokofiev
Nessun Dorma - Puccini
O mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicci - Puccini
Trumpet Tune - Purcell
Bolero - Ravel
Danse Macabre - Saint-Saens
Con te Partiro - Sartori
Gymnopedies no. 2 & 3 - Satie
Romance - Shostakovich
Ave Maria - Schubert
Traumeri - Schumann
The Blue Danube Waltz - Strauss
Sleeping Beauty Waltz - Tchaikovsky
Nutcracker Suite (xmas) - Tchaikovsky
Concerto Grosso - Vivaldi
Largo from Winter - Vivaldi
Spring (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Summer (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Autumn (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Winter (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Wedding March - Wagner
The Skater’s Waltz - Waldteufel
Capriol Suite - Warlock

Mamma Mia - Abba
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Heaven Bryan Adams
Make You Feel My Love - Adele
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
Dream a Little Dream of Me - Andre and Schwandt (The Mamas & the Papas)
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
Rasputin - Boney M
Drown - Bring Me the Horizon
F.E.A.R. (intro) - Ian Brown
Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
Let’s Dance - David Bowie
Life on Mars - David Bowie
Tainted Love - Cobb (Soft Cell)
Viva la Vida - Coldplay
Yellow - Coldplay
You Spin Me Round - Dead or Alive
Young and Beautiful - Lana Del Rey
Annie’s Song - John Denver
Come On Eileen - Dexy’s Midnight Runners
I Just Can’t Get Enough - Depeche Mode
Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
One Day Like This - Elbow
Sweet Talkin’ Woman - ELO
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You - Elvis
Love Me Tender - Elvis
A Little Respect - Erasure
Sweet Dreams - The Eurythmics
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
I’ll Be There - Gordy (The Jackson 5)
Lovely Head - Goldfrapp
Pilots - Goldfrapp
Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
Sweet Child of Mine - Guns n’ Roses
Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron and Wine
Billy Jean - Michael Jackson
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson
Thriller - Michael Jackson
I’ll Be There - The Jacksons
Your Song - Elton John
Don’t Stop Believin’ - Journey
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
Stand by Me - Ben E. King
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Local Hero - Mark Knopfler
The Robots - Kraftwerk
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
All of Me - John Legend
All You Need is Love - Lennon & McCartney
Hey Jude - Lennon & McCartney
Eleanor Rigby - Lennon & McCartney
Penny Lane - Lennon & McCartney
Funky Town - Lipps Inc.
Papa Don’t Preach - Madonna
Could It Be Magic - Barry Manilow
Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - MacColl (Roberta Flack)
Just The Way You Are - McFly
Marry You - Bruno Mars
My Love - Paul McCartney
It’s All About You - McFly
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Cars - Gary Numan
Songbird - McVie (Eva Cassidy)
I Feel Love - Moroder (Donna Summer)
Blue Monday - New Order
Listen Up - Oasis
Whatever - Oasis
Wonderwall - Oasis
Beethoven’s 5 Secrets - One Republic
Perpetuum Mobile - Penguin Café Orchestra
A Thousand Years - Christina Perry
Where Is My Mind - Pixies
Raspberry Beret - Prince
Purple Rain - Prince
Nothing Compares To You - Prince feat. Sinead O’Connor
A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
Baby I Love You - The Ramones
Perfect Day - Lou Reed
Truly, Madly, Deeply - Savage Garden
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
A Song for You - Leon Russell (Ray Charles)
Home - Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros
Chandelier - Sia
Cheap Thrills - Sia
Samskeyti (Heima) - Sigor Rós
Von - Sigor Rós
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Wish Fulfilment - Sonic Youth
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship
You’ve Got the Love - Candi Staton/Florence and the Machine
Fields of Gold - Sting
Love Story - Taylor Swift
The Greatest Day - Take That
Rule the World - Take That
Close To Me - The Cure
Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks
My Girl - The Temptations
Bittersweet Symphony (intro) - The Verve
From This Moment On - Shania Twain
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
You Raise Me Up - Westlife
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
Sunny - Stevie Wonder

TV & Film
Kissing You - Armstrong (Des’ree)
Goldfinger - John Barry
Diamonds are Forever - John Barry
From Russia with Love - John Barry
James Bond Theme - John Barry
Arrival of the Birds - The Cinematic Orchestra
Allo Allo Theme - David Croft
Theme from Sex and the City - Cuomo
Game of Thrones - Ramin Djawadi
Jeeves and Wooster Theme - Anne Dudley
Grease is the Word - Barry Gibb
How Deep Is Your Love - Barry Gibb
How Long Will I Love You - Ellie Goulding
Nobody Does It Better - Hamlisch (Carly Simon)
A Man and A Woman - Lai
Same Love - Macklemore & Lewis
Grandstand Theme - Keith Mansfield
Beauty and the Beast Prologue - Alan Menken
Tale As Old As Time - Alan Menken
The Ecstacy of Gold - Ennio Morricon
Family Guy Theme - Walter Murphy
A Million Dreams (The Greatest Showman) - Pasek & Paul
Tightrope (The Greatest Showman) - Pasek & Paul
Concerning Hobbits - Howard Shore
Star Wars Theme - John Williams
The Imperial March (Star Wars) - John Williams
The Throne Room (Star Wars) John Williams
Superman Theme - John Williams
Faulty Towers Theme - Dennis Wilson
Irish Sherry Trad.
Fiddle Dance Trad.
Molly on the Shore Trad.
You’re So Cool (True Romance) Hans Zimmer

Jazz, Tangos, Musicals & Songbook
Blue Tango - Anderson
Over the Rainbow - Arlen
What A Wonderful World - Thiele/Weis (Louis Armstrong)*
La Vie en Rose - Gugliemi (Edith Piaf/Louis Armstrong)*
Close to You - Bacharach
Say a Little Prayer - Bacharach
Fueye…! (tango) - Charlo
Makin’ Whoopee - Donaldson
Caravan - Ellington
La vi Ilegar (tango) - Francini
Por Una Cabeza (tango) - Gardel
Embraceable You - Gershwin
Love is Here to Stay - Gershwin
Someone to Watch Over Me - Gershwin
At Last - Eta James
Pennies from Heaven - Johnston
The Girl from Ipanema - Jobim
Paragon Rag - Joplin
The Easy Winners (rag) - Joplin
The Folks who Live on the Hill - Kern
When I Fall In Love - Young / Heyman (Nat King Cole)*
Bohemia Rag - Lamb
Moon River - Mancini
Cafetin de Buenos Aires (tango) - Mores
Cristal (tango) - Mores
La Calesita (tango) - Mores
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye - Porter
True Love - Porter
Anything Goes - Porter
Let’s Do It - Porter
I Get a Kick Out of You - Porter
Some Enchanted Evening - Rodgers
Suite from Oklahoma & The Sound of Music - Rodgers & Hammerstein
I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables) - Schonberg
A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square - Sherwin
Moonlight in Vermont - Suessdorf
EL 58 (tango) - Varela/Nery
El Choclo (tango) - Villoldo
Ain’t Misbehavin’ - Waller & Brooks
Mr. Wonderful - Weiss
Slippery Elm Rag - Woods
Tea for Two - Youmans
When I Fall In Love - Young

22 Customer Reviews

Performance quality: 5 stars
Sound quality: 5 stars
Behaviour: 5 stars
Communication before and at your event: 5 stars
Audience engagement: 5 stars
Value for money: 5 stars
  • Excellent 22
  • Good 0
  • OK 0
  • Unsatisfactory 0
  • Poor 0

Solar Strings played at our wedding

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their Wedding in Durham August 2021

“String Quartet Solar Strings played at our wedding on 28th August before the ceremony and afterwards in the garden. They played beautifully and we received many compliments from our guests. We ageed a playlist beforehand and they were very happy to oblige. I would definately recommend them. Thank you for making our wedding extra special Elaine and Paul x”

Absolutely perfect-Thank you so much

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their Wedding in Northumberland July 2021

“Thank you so much for playing at our wedding. The songs were absolutely beautiful and all our guests commented on how lovely the music was. We would highly recommend and would definitely book again for another event.”

The most beautifully played classics I've ever heard

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their Wedding in Merseyside

“Every single person who spoke to me about Solar Strings performance at my wedding had nothing but praise for them. They knew what I wanted to hear from a few chats and didn’t disappoint. My father in law was blown away by them! Hearing some of my fathers favourite songs played so beautifully meant so much to me and I can’t recommend Solar Strings enough. They travelled a very long way to be a part of my day and I can’t show them enough how grateful I am that they were there!”

Truly excellent

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their Wedding in North Yorkshire

“Truly excellent They helped make our sons wedding so special A big thank you from a very proud mum and dad They kept the guests entertained even when we had four seasons in one day The vicar at the church was OVERJOYED to have Solar Strings perform at the wedding”

We had lots of compliments about how good the playing was.

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their event

“Just a little note to say thank you so much for playing at our wedding on Monday, we had lots of compliments about how good the playing was. ”

See more customer reviews (17)


Price from £621 + travel from Newcastle upon Tyne

Based on 4 members performing up to 2 hours of background music

  • North East From £621
  • North West From £621
  • Yorkshire and the Humber From £621

Most Alive Network artists travel UK wide and internationally. Get a guide price instantly by clicking the 'get quote' button and entering your event date and location. Make an enquiry and we will liase directly with Solar Strings to confirm price, availability, and the provide you with a confirmed quote.

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Performance Times

Up to 2 hours (background music)

From £621 + travel

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Up to 2 hours (Ceremony plus Drinks Reception)

From £621 + travel

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Ceremony Only

From £571 + travel

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Up to 3 hours (background music)

From £822 + travel

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Up to 3 hours (Ceremony plus Drinks Reception)

From £822 + travel

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Up to 4 hours (Ceremony, Drinks Reception & Wedding Breakfast)

From £1,010 + travel

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Booking Options

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Default lineup: 4 members

Quartet: 2 x violin / viola / cello

Full Biography

* Professional and versatile quartet
* Best rates in the North East N. Yorkshire & Cumbria
* Repertoire ranges from classical to pop jazz tangoes film themes & trad.(also write arrangements)
* Perfect for many events

Solar Strings are a professional string quartet based in the North East of England. Consisting of four extremely dedicated professional string players the quartet is now one of the most established in the North East. With over ten years of experience in providing high quality live music at so many events the quartet has built a reputation for being professional reliable and flexible.

Solar Strings are vastly experienced in performing live music throughout the North East of England Cumbria and N. Yorkshire providing the perfect soundtrack to all types of events including weddings (ceremony drinks reception and wedding breakfast), product launches, exhibition previews, corporate functions and private parties.

They are available to perform in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham, Teesside, Cumbria and N. Yorkshire. Engagements outside these areas will also be considered. Please contact your agent with your requirements.

Solar Strings comprises of Jo Montgomery (violin 1), Kirsten Gibson (violin 2), Gayle Hutchinson (viola) and Ele Leckie (cello).

Jo Montgomery (vln 1)
Jo studied at Chethams School of Music in Manchester with Christopher Rowland. She was awarded places at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the Royal College of Music, London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester but chose to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with violin professor, Detlef Hahn and Stephanie Gonley.

Since graduating Jo has worked with Ulster Orchestra, which involved live radio 3 broadcasts, recording sessions and a tour of Ireland. She has also performed and recorded with the BBC Philharmonic.

Jo joined the quartet in 1999 and since then has also worked regularly with the Northern Sinfonia as a freelance violinist, taking part in many concerts, recordings and education projects. She has also performed with Leslie Garrett, Sir Cliff Richard and The Avison Ensemble and recently performed on stage with The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Kirsten Gibson (vln 2)
Kirsten studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and Newcastle University. She graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a first class honours degree then in 2001 with an MLitt with distinction.

Whilst studying, she participated in master classes with Leon Spierer, Madeleine Mitchell and The Alberni String Quartet. She has since performed with Aled Jones and Thomas Allen.

Having joined the quartet in 1999, Kirsten is an experienced chamber musician as well as performing regularly in orchestras throughout the north of England. She currently combines teaching at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with performing and doctoral research.

Gayle Hutchinson (viola)
Gayle is from County Durham. She formed Solar Strings while studying for a BA (Hons) Music at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She has also worked with a range of artists such as Smoove & Turrell (Jalapeno Records), The Matinee Orchestra (Arable Records), Beccy Owen and Mercury Music Award nominee Kathryn Williams, with whom she performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and recorded the album Old Low Light.

Ele Leckie (cello)
Born in 1975, cellist Ele Leckie first studied under a scholarship at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music then progressed on to the Royal College of Music to learn with Anna Shuttleworth and Alexander Bailey. Here she also studied piano with Bernard Roberts and chamber music with The Chilingirian Quartet. She has taken part in many masterclasses, most notably with William Pleeth and Ben Zander, the latter of which was filmed and broadcast for the BBC.

She worked as an orchestral musician with the Wellington Sinfonia in New Zealand for two years and since returning to the UK, has performed with artists ranging from the Royal Shakespeare Company (on stage and BBC Radio 4 broadcast), to Peppa Pig and Mr. Bump for Channel 5 Milkshake! Tour. She has played on touring West End productions and has performed and recorded with musicians such as Lesley Garrett, classical pianist John Lill and Paul Smith of the band Maximo Park.

Ele currently divides her time between performing with the quartet and freelance playing and teaching in the North East of England. 

Solar Strings will provide the perfect soundtrack for your special day. They can provide live music for any combination of the following:

Pre-ceremony drinks - music played by a string quartet is the perfect accompaniment to help you unwind whilst catching up with family and friends. (approx 30 mins).

Wedding Ceremony - during the wait for the bride, live music helps to put the wedding party at ease whilst waiting for the arrival of the bride. The quartet generally play for 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, then again during the entrance, register signing and exit, for which you can choose specific music from the repertoire. If your ceremony is religious, they can usually arrange accompaniment hymn music (approx 45 mins).

Photos and Drinks Reception - after a seamless relocation to another room or even another venue, Aurora Strings can either play a mixed repertoire from the list or they can adapt to suit your requirements (approx 1 hour).

Wedding Breakfast - live music provides the perfect relaxing ambience to accompany the meal (approx 2 hours).

Corporate Events-
Live music from a string quartet makes such a difference when it comes to entertaining clients. Corporate events include sponsorship receptions, VIP receptions, car launches, exhibition previews and university dinners. Clients include Newcastle Building Society, Tyneside Cinema, BALTIC, RAF Boulmer, Newcastle City Council, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria University, Dance City and City Motors.

Events include BBC Children In Need, Gateshead Flower Show, The Great North Run VIP event and the launch of the Northern Lights Film Festival.

The quartet has played for numerous celebrities, including Gordon Ramsey, Charlie Dimmock, Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer, Alistair Campbell, Steve Cram and Brendan Foster.

Recording and Session Work-
The quartet is experienced in recording and session work. Recent involvement has included strings for Gary Hilton - Not Afraid to be Happy as well as Smoove - Coming Back and Kathryn Williams' Shop Window EP. The quartet have also worked independently with artists such as The Divine Comedy, Sir Cliff Richard, Beccy Owen (Fairy Snuff), The Matinee Orchestra (Arable Records), Loon and Smoove & Turrell (Jalapeno Records).

Solar Strings' Comments
"Your playing added a real touch of class to the proceedings. In addition to playing beautifully, you were so accommodating and flexible. Things fell behind a little but ‘the band played on’ beyond expected while there were still guests in the Great Hall. Sincere thanks – I will certainly recommend you."
Bob Watson (Durham Castle)

"Lots of people commented on aolar strings and how good you all sounded. The photographer, who has attended lots of weddings, said that you were the best string quartet he had heard, which says a lot about your playing
and talents. Once again thanks for making our day special."

Ged and Liz Carlin (Seaham Hall)

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