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 £836 + travel

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Set List / Repertoire

* denotes Solar Strings original arrangements.


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
Casta Diva Bellini
Habanera from Carmen Bizet
The Toreador's Song from Carmen Bizet
Minuet Boccherini
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
I Giorni Einaudi*
Chanson de Matin Elgar
Nimrod Elgar
Salut d'amour Elgar
Serenade for Strings Elgar
Pavane Faure
Panis Angelicus Franck
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
Jupiter from The Planets Suite Holst
Schon Rosmarin Kreisler
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
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Mozart
Der Vogelfanger from The Magic Flute Mozart
The Magic Flute Overture 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
Recomposed: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons (Spring) Max Richter* 
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
Wiener Blut 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*
A Song For The Lovers Richard Ashcroft*
God Only Knows The Beach Boys*
Wouldn't It Be Nice The Beach Boys*
I Gotta Feelin The Black Eyed Peas
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
This Will Be - An Everlasting Love Natalie Cole*
Gangsters Paradise Coolio*
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*
Gypsy Fleetwood Mac*
Everlong Foo Fighters*
Everywhere Fleetwood Mac*
The Book of Love Peter Gabriel*
I'll Be There Berry Gordy (The Jackson 5)
Lovely Head Goldfrapp*
Pilots Goldfrapp*
Let’s Stay Together Al Green*
Sweet Child of Mine Guns n’ Roses*
On Top of the World Imagine Dragons*
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*
Here Comes the Sun Lennon & McCartney*
Hey Jude Lennon & McCartney*
Eleanor Rigby Lennon & McCartney
Penny Lane Lennon & McCartney
Funky Town Lipps Inc.*
It Must Be Love Madness*
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)*
Marry You Bruno Mars*
Just The Way You Are McFly*
My Love Paul McCartney*
It’s All About You McFly*
Have I Told You Lately? Van Morrison*
I Need You Now Olly Murs*
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*
Belfast Orbital*
A Whiter Shade of Pale Procol Harum*
You're My Best Friend Queen*
No Surprises Radiohead*
Baby I Love You The Ramones
Perfect Day Lou Reed*
A Song for You Leon Russell (Ray Charles)*
Truly, Madly, Deeply Savage Garden*
Home Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros*
Perfect Ed Sheeran*
Tenerife Sea Ed Sheeran
Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
Sleeping Lessons The Shins*
Chandelier Sia*
Cheap Thrills Sia*
Samskeyti (Heima) Sigor Rós*
Von Sigor Rós *
My Way Frank Sinatra*
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*
Shake It Off Taylor Swift*
You Belong With Me Taylor Swift*
The Greatest Day Take That*
Rule the World Take That*
Close To Me The Cure*
Sunny Afternoon The Kinks
Please, Please, Please Let Me... The Smiths*
My Girl The Temptations*
Bittersweet Symphony (intro) The Verve*
Dancing In The Moonlight Toploader*
From This Moment On Shania Twain*
You're Still The One 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*
For Once In My Life Stevie Wonder*
My Cherie Amour Stevie Wonder*
Signed, Sealed, Delivered Stevie Wonder*
Sunny Stevie Wonder*


Kissing You (Romeo and Juliet) Craig Armstrong (Des’ree)*
Glasgow and Portuguese Love Theme medley (Love Actually) Craig Armstrong
Goldfinger John Barry*
Diamonds are Forever John Barry*
From Russia with Love John Barry*
James Bond Theme John Barry*
Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid) Jodi Benson 
We Go Together (from Grease) Warren Casey*
Arrival of the Birds The Cinematic Orchestra*
Allo Allo Theme David Croft*
Theme from Sex and the City Cuomo*
Pride and Prejudice Theme Carl Davis*
Game of Thrones Ramin Djawadi
Jeeves and Wooster Theme Anne Dudley
Married Life (from Up) Michael Giacchino*
Grease is the Word Barry Gibb*
How Deep Is Your Love (Saturday Night Fever) Barry Gibb
How Long Will I Love You Ellie Goulding*
Nobody Does It Better Hamlisch (Carly Simon)*
Songs of Love (Father Ted Theme) Neil Hannon*
Great British Bake Off Theme (end credits) Tom Howe*
Can You Feel The Love Tonight (The Lion King) Elton John*
A Man and A Woman Lai
Same Love Macklemore & Lewis*
Grandstand Theme Keith Mansfield*
Beauty and the Beast Prologue Alan Menken
I See the Light from Tangled Alan Menken*
Tale As Old As Time Alan Menken*
The Ecstacy of Gold (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) Ennio Morricone*
Family Guy Theme Walter Murphy*
You've Got A Friend In Me (Toy Story) Randy Newman*
A Million Dreams (The Greatest Showman) Pasek & Paul*
Tightrope (The Greatest Showman) Pasek & Paul*
Wildest Dreams (Bridgerton) Swift, Martin & Shellback
Concerning Hobbits Howard Shore*
Wildst Dreams (from Bridgerton) Taylor Swift
Everybody's Free (Romeo & Juliet) Quindon Tarver
Star Wars Theme John Williams
The Imperial March (Star Wars) John Williams*
Jurassic Park Theme John Williams*
The Throne Room (Star Wars) John Williams*
Superman Theme John Williams*
Faulty Towers Theme Dennis Wilson
You'e So Cool (True Romance) Hans Zimmer


Blue Tango Anderson
Over the Rainbow Arlen
What A Wonderful World Thiele/Weis (Louis Armstrong)*
La Vie en Rose Gugliemi (Edith Piaf/Louis Armstrong)*
She Aznavour
Close to You Bacharach
Say a Little Prayer Bacharach
Somewhere Bernstein
Fueye…! (tango) Charlo
Makin’ Whoopee Donaldson 
Caravan Ellington
La vi Ilegar (tango) Francini
Por Una Cabeza (tango) Gardel
A Foggy Day In London Town Gershwin
Embraceable You Gershwin
Love is Here to Stay Gershwin
Love Walked In Gershwin
Nice Work If You Can Get It Gershwin
Someone to Watch Over Me Gershwin
Swanee Gershwin
The Man I Love Gershwin
They All Laughed Gershwin
They Can't Take That Away From Me Gershwin
At Last Eta James
Pennies from Heaven Johnston
The Girl from Ipanema Jobim
Maple Leaf Rag Joplin
Paragon Rag Joplin
The Easy Winners (rag) Joplin
The Entertainer (rag) Joplin
The Folks who Live on the Hill Kern
Bohemia Rag Lamb
All I Ask Of You Lloyd-Webber
Moon River Mancini
Cafetin de Buenos Aires (tango) Mores
Cristal (tango) Mores
La Calesita (tango) Mores
Anything Goes Porter
Every Time We Say Goodbye Porter
It's De Lovely Porter
True Love 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
Pirates of Penzance Sullivan
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 / Heyman (Nat King Cole)*
The Marino Waltz The Dubliners*
The Irish Rovers The Dubliners*
Blaydon Races Trad. 
Bobby Shaftoe Trad.
Calon Lan Daniel James
Come You Not From Newcastle? Trad.
Dance Ti Thy Daddy Trad.
The Fair Flower of Northumberland Trad. 
Fiddle Dance Trad.
The Grand Old Duke of York Trad.
Hexhamshire Lass Trad. 
Irish Sherry Trad.
John Peel Trad. 
Keep Yer Feet Still, Geordie Hinny! Trad. 
Molly on the Shore Trad.
Scarborough Fair Trad.

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)


Default lineup: 4 members

Quartet: 2 x violin / viola / cello

Performance Times

Up to 2 hours (background music)

From £836 + travel

Get a quote

Up to 2 hours (Ceremony plus Drinks Reception)

From £836 + travel

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Ceremony Only

From £805 + travel

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Up to 3 hours (background music)

From £1,063 + travel

Get a quote

Up to 3 hours (Ceremony plus Drinks Reception)

From £1,063 + travel

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

From £1,256 + travel

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Booking Options

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Price from £836 + travel from Newcastle upon Tyne

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

  • North East From £740
  • North West From £740
  • Yorkshire and the Humber From £740

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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25 Customer Reviews

Performance quality: 5 stars
Sound quality: 5 stars
Behaviour: 5 stars
Communication: 5 stars
Audience engagement: 5 stars
Value for money: 5 stars
  • Excellent 25
  • Good
  • OK
  • Unsatisfactory
  • Poor

One of my favourite parts of the wedding

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their Wedding in Durham September 2023

“It was just how I’d imagined! The sound was incredible in the chapel and as soon as I heard the music I was walking down to my heart literally skipped a beat it was everything I’d ever pictured and it made the ceremony absolutely perfect. They also brought a great atmosphere to the drinks reception. Thank you so much!”

Solar Strings were a lovely bunch.

5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended
booked Solar Strings for their Wedding in North Yorkshire June 2023

“Solar Strings were a lovely bunch. Their selection of music was exceptional and they even learnt a song specifically for us. On top of that the inclusion of musical scores like nimrod, now we are free and local hero was the icing on the cake.”

Absolute Perfection and Flawless Performance

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

“These guys were absolutely outstanding. Everything we asked for was delivered. Totally made our day and our guests loved them. The music was beautiful. Thank you so much, and would recommend anyone having a wedding to book them immediately- it will be the best money you spend for your occasion.”

Solar Strings played at our wedding

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

“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

“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.”

See more customer reviews (20)

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