We have developed a series of answers to frequently asked questions below for your convenience.
Why hire Landolfi String Quartet and Ensemble?
We are a professional ensemble with years of experience utilizing a pool of musicians so we can handle your wedding regardless of the availability of an individual musician. We love what we do and we are dedicated to doing our part to make your special event successful. Note: If you have a specific request for your event, please let us know on the Hire Us form.
How do I hire Landolfi Quartet (or Duo or Trio)?
It’s easy! We have a Hire Us form on the web site for your convenience. Simply fill out the standard questions. There is also a place for special requests. A nonrefundable deposit of $25 is required to keep the date on the calendar. The remaining amount should be mailed no later than one week before your event (gratuity not included). This check will not be deposited until we have played your event.
How much does it cost to hire Landolfi?
It’s more affordable than many people think. Please see our Fees page.
Do we need to meet in person about the event?
It is normally not necessary to meet in person. Most details can be worked out by phone and email.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
The $25 deposit is not refundable. If we are not notified of the cancellation at least one week before the event, the full balance will be due.
My wedding ceremony is only 15 minutes. Can I get a discount if it is shorter?
Our standard rate is priced competitively for 2 hours, however there is a special one-hour rate that can be offered in limited cases. To qualify for a one-hour wedding (with manager approval), these specifications are usually in place:
(Note: If you can answer yes to #1 and #2 plus 2 others, your service would probably qualify for the one-hour rate.)
1. A lay official offering a short speech in place of a homily, or none at all
2. No special rituals in the middle, i.e. unity candle, sand ceremony, flower presentation, or readings
3. Fewer than 4 attendants
4. Fewer than 75 guests
5. 15-minute prelude instead of our standard 30-prelude
6. Only 1 postlude following the recessional
7. No receiving line at the ceremony site
8. By the nature of high church services, a wedding at a church with liturgical tradition is likely not eligible for the one-hour rate.
9. Large event venues such as hotels or stadiums are likely not eligible for the one-hour rate due to extra set up restrictions.
Please note that if your wedding starts late and we end up running over time, you will be responsible for the price difference in fee. It could also result in putting a musician under stress if other obligations follow right after the contracted time. If you have any doubt, go with the longer booked time. Better safe than sorry. For more information see our Fees page.
Can I change the time frame?
Yes. We understand that sometimes things change and we try to be flexible. If you need to change the time frame, please contact the manager.
Can I expand to a quartet if I booked a duo or trio?
Yes you can. Your $25.00 deposit secures your event on the calendar. If you see that you are interested in music that best fits a larger ensemble, for instance you want more contemporary music which requires a quartet, notify the manager. The additions will be added to the balance which is due the week before the wedding.
Help! I need to hire a quartet for tomorrow.
If you need to hire us on short notice please call us (314) 741-5948 and email as soon as possible with as much information as possible. Our manager will do what she can to accommodate your situation.
What size ensemble should I hire – duo, trio, or quartet?
Choose the largest ensemble you can afford. A string quartet consists of two violins, a viola, and a cello, which roughly corresponds to the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices in a choir. This gives you a fuller sound and best choices of music. Many composers specifically wrote for four voice parts so dropping a part leaves in hole in the music, both in harmony and melodic line. Some rock ‘n roll tunes need the full sound to complete the rhythm and harmony as well as the melody. Think about how many members there are in your favorite rock band.
Our trio consists of two violins and a cello. Some arrangements work without viola and we have some arrangements specifically for trio. Certain other selections will not work without the viola. When your budget limits you to three players we will notify you if something does not work with only three players.
Our duet usually comprises a violin and a cello. It has the melody and the bass but lacks the inner voices. Fewer tunes work with only the two voices but part of our library does include music for two players. We have more classical repertoire suitable for duo. Much popular music that requires 3-4 parts is not suitable for duo.
A solo instrument such as violin will have melody but little or no harmony.
Do you play for other types of events in addition to weddings?
Yes. Examples are:
• Corporate and Convention Events
• Anniversary, Birthday, Engagements, Receptions, Special Event Parties
• Church Services
• Funerals / Memorial Services
• Holiday Events
• Broadcasts and Recordings
• School Graduations, Concerts, and Musicals
• Accompany Choirs, bands, or Singer/Songwriters
• and more
Do you perform outdoors?
Yes. However, weather may be an issue. We cannot play if there are even a few droplets of rain because of damage it can cause to expensive instruments and music. We need a somewhat level area and shade for the instruments because sunlight damages wooden instruments. We do our best to accommodate clients but be aware that extreme heat, cold or even wind can affect the quality of our performance. Outdoor events should have an alternate option in case of inclement weather.
Do you perform outside the St. Louis Metro area?
Yes, but travel fees may apply, depending on the distance. Please consult our Fees page.
What do you need to perform at the venue?
We need chairs with no arms and preferably a flat seat. We need a space of approximately 8 x 8 feet, but if that isn’t workable we have fit into somewhat tighter spaces. We need room to move our bows without hitting objects or people. We also need adequate lighting or access to electrical outlets to plug in extension cords and stand lights.
Anything else you need at the venue?
Parking close to the performance area is helpful because we have to haul equipment. A handy place to store musical instrument cases may be needed to keep them out of view of photos.
Do you need amplification?
Our instruments are acoustic, not normally requiring a sound system. We do not provide amplification.
Will the music be too loud?
No. With our fine acoustic instruments people can still converse. Clients and their guests remark how they loved the string quartet because they didn’t have to shout over the music to talk to each other.
Do you perform at receptions and/or dinners as well as ceremonies?
Yes we do. We have a large selection of music in various styles to fit the bride’s vision in each of these environments.
My wedding and reception are in two different locations. Do you charge for performing in two different venues?
Landolfi charges by the time. If we go directly from ceremony to the next venue, we will charge for the length of the engagement, including the travel time between locations. The time involved would be included in the fee. If there is a separation of a few hours, we may have to charge as two events.
I am using a DJ after you are done playing. Okay?
Yes. We often work with DJs and will check with them to confirm when we finish and when they start or any other logistics involved.
Do you attend wedding ceremony rehearsals?
We do not attend rehearsals. We are seasoned professionals who will fit your music choices to what you are doing. You do not need to be concerned about timing. We arrive early enough at the venue to discuss special issues with the officiant. If the client feels there is an extreme, compelling need for a rehearsal, it will need to be discussed with the manager, Deberah Haferkamp. She will need to work out a reasonable rehearsal fee to accommodate the situation.
How early before the event to you arrive?
We typically arrive 15-30 minutes early for setup and for any last-minute consultation with your officiant and/or coordinator.
What happens if the wedding is running late?
Usually we can handle a few minutes delay, especially if we are within the contracted time. We have extra music to cover a longer prelude. We try to be flexible whenever possible. If we have to run beyond the contracted time, an additional fee may apply. This happens rarely, though.
We are required to use our church organist. Do you work with organists?
Yes. We do this frequently. When performing together we will need to verify that our music matches in key, arrangement, and length. We suggest you check with your church or synagogue whether there are any restrictions on bringing in outside musicians or on musical selections. Some churches ban “Bridal Chorus” or certain popular tunes for liturgical reasons.
Do you perform with singers or other instrumentalists?
Yes we do. Please make clear if you are providing them or if you would like us to hire for you. We have a network of musicians, enough to make up an orchestra! An additional charge is required for each additional musician. Rates may differ from our usual rate according to singers or requirements of special instruments (trumpet or harp, for example). We will rehearse immediately prior to the ceremony, so that time will be included in our pricing. We will need to coordinate details about keys and versions of sheet music in certain cases.
We’d like to have a trumpet play on the processional and/or recessional. Is this possible?
Yes, as long as the selected piece works with trumpet. We have connections with very experienced trumpet players in the St. Louis area and can book one for you. The rate is listed on our Fees page (see under “Ensemble Plus One” heading).
Do I need to select all of the music?
It depends on circumstances. Generally brides select music for the following parts of a wedding:
1. Family seating (including mothers’ entrance and candle lighting, if applicable)
2. Processional of attendants (bridesmaids, flower girl, and ring bearer, etc.)
3. Bridal processional
4. Unity candle/sand ceremony and special music
5. Liturgical music as needed, such as for Catholic Mass (responsorial psalm, Gospel acclamation, presentation of the gifts, mass parts, sign of peace, communion, flowers to the Blessed Mother)
6. Recessional music.
A few clients will give us requests of what to play for prelude and receptions, while others leave those selections to us, which is quite common. Please do let us know what you like or don’t like: baroque, classical, romantic, jazz, Beatles, classic rock, contemporary rock, etc. Occasionally brides have no opinion of what they want us to play in the various parts of the wedding and will have us choose–typically the standard wedding selections.
May I request music not on your playlist?
Yes. As long as sheet music is available we can play. Certain selections will require arranging to make it work for our quartet, trio, or duo. An arranging fee applies.
We want contemporary popular music for our wedding. Can you do that?
Yes, we have many selections on our playlist. Please note that a full string quartet usually works better on contemporary songs than does a smaller group.
How will you know when to start the processional music?
We will need a cue from someone to let us know when the wedding party is ready. Once we know that we can usually tell when to switch to music for bridesmaids and then the bride. It is helpful for us to know if the mothers are lighting candles, how many bridesmaids, whether there are children in the bridal party, and if the doors will close and reopen for the bride’s entrance or if a runner is rolled out for the bride’s entrance. Remember to allow us time to change music between each group–family, bridesmaids, and bride. At the wedding site, we will confirm with the officiant the cue for the recessional–typically an introduction of the married couple.
Can you perform for a ceremony with a full Catholic Mass?
Yes. We are experienced with this, although obtaining some mass settings may present a challenge. We will work with the church organist or vocalist you may have hired or we can recommend or supply the vocalist or organist if you need to hire one. We may also need to coordinate with clergy, church musician, or coordinator on the music. For a lengthy service with singers we may need to charge for additional rehearsal time ahead of the service.
Do you play Jewish weddings?
Yes, of course. Please let us know if the bride will be circling the groom seven times or if there are any other traditions that may affect the length of music. Generally we don’t play during the actual ceremony. The rabbi or cantor, if present, will sing unaccompanied.
Do you play Christmas music for holiday parties?
Yes. We have many hours of holiday music we can play for parties. This includes non-religious holiday music.
What kind of music do you play for receptions, cocktails, and dinners?
With the client’s musical preferences in mind, we can play a mix of styles from our Playlist.
Do you take breaks?
Yes. Typically about ten minutes every hour. Performing is a very physical activity that needs breaks. Union rules even require it. We try to work our breaks around your schedule as much as we can.
How will the musicians be dressed?
We will wear clothing appropriate for the occasion, which is usually all black or black and white.
Is it standard to tip musicians?
While we tip service providers in everyday life, the decision to tip is yours. The final decision may be whether services exceeded your expectations or if the musicians carried out special requirements. We appreciate your business! Please keep in mind we have set our rates to be competitive, so tips are welcomed by our musicians.
Are your musicians professional musicians?
Yes. We play and teach music for a living and are members of the musicians’ union, American Federation of Musicians, Local 2-197 (Musicians’ Association of St. Louis). We have had many years of training and performing on our instruments.
May I review Landolfi String Quartet and Ensemble after the event?
Yes, please do. We welcome feedback and have a place on our web site for you to do so. You can email us or mail a note. It helps us if you leave a review on WeddingWire.com and The Knot.
What is the origin of the quartet’s name and when was it founded?
At the time of the quartet’s founding, two members of the quartet played violins made by Carlo Fernando Landolfi, an Italian violin maker. For more information about the maker:
Nobody currently in the quartet owns a Landolfi violin, although a few own instruments from the same era. The quartet’s first performance was Earth Day, 1976, with a live performance on the radio under the St. Louis Arch. Since then we’ve had changes in personnel that now even include people younger than the quartet! Regardless, we maintain quality in the ensemble and stay up to date with the musical needs of our clients. We are an established ensemble and will provide excellent music.
Contact Deberah Haferkamp © Landolfi Ensembles 2014