Harris Shilakowsky: Sailor

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Shilakowsky String Quartet

ceremony & cocktail hour/dinner, parties & concerts

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The Shilakowsky String Quartet specializes in music for ceremonies, cocktail hour or dinner music, especially for weddings. In addition to classical selections, we play music of all types arranged for the quartet, including Italian,

and other ethnic songs, pop songs, operatic themes, jazz, and Broadway tunes.

about the quartet & its members

Over 20 years experience organizing professional musicians for weddings and, special occasions and concerts.

We provide other instrumentalists, and vocalists when requested.

Listen to some wedding ceremony music performed by the quartet

Bach Brandenburg Concerto

Bach "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"

Bach "Sheep May Safely Graze"

Pachelbel Canon

Pachelbel Canon performed with addition of French Horn

Mozart, Romanza from Eine Kleine Nacht Musik

Mendelssohn Bridal March

Mouret "Rondeau"

Wagner Bridal Chorus

Handel La Rejouissance

Traditional Jewish favorites

And for your cocktail hour or reception here are some popular & jazz excerpts...

Its All Right With Me

Fascinatin Rhythm

Got To Get You Into My Life

Fill out the form on the right to get your exact quote.

We hire smaller groups - Solo Violin, String Duo or Trio, or Violin-Guitar Duo which plays jazz standards, classical pieces with a Latin beat, country fiddle tunes.

A new, exciting and affordable alternative for your ceremony is using The solo violinist performing with a full virtual orchestra including instruments such as organ for the ceremony & performs with the virtual band for the cocktail hour and/or reception.

Shilakowsky & the S-band

After your cocktail hour is over, we add more sound to the strings, and bring you electrified tunes. You name it...rock oldies like Addicted to Love, pop tunes by Beyoncé, Lady GaGa, Jason Desrouleaux, Train, jazz, and many more!

Fill out the form on the right to get your exact quote.

questions? e-mail:

Additional Services:

Your favorite song arranged for the string quartet.

Professionally produced CD of the music and vows from your wedding ceremony from Digital recording

Why should you use Shilakowsky String Quartet instead of another group?

We don't play wrong notes. Not all musicians are the same. The reason I was hired to be a concertmaster is because of my ability to read any music perfectly the first time I see it. This is called sight-reading. Not all musicians can sight-read well.

Our rhythm is tight. When you're walking down the aisle, you don't want the musicians speeding up and slowing down. As a leader, my rhythm is accurate and consistent. This also makes our popular music more lively and danceable. Our intonation is clean. Along with wrong notes, out-of-tune notes are especially bothersome. Musicians who lack training will play out of tune, making your favorite song or composition sound like it was being meowed by a cat.

We play the styles of music the way they should be played. Many people can read notes, but not all can interpret them correctly, in the style they originated in. If a piece is written by a Baroque composer like Bach, it should have a Baroque feel to it. I only work with musicians who are steeped in the traditions that they perform. This includes playing ethnic music with the right feel. When we play Spanish tunes, you'll swear we were all Spaniards. When we play Italian music, you'll feel like we come directly from Venice. When we play Jewish music, we get the oy vey, and when we play Greek music...Opah! We feel the soul of the people who wrote the tunes.

We take care of every single detail, preparing your favorite music, even if it hasn't been published for our instruments yet. In cases such as these, I write custom arrangements upon your request.

Every musician is appropriately dressed and performs and behaves with professional courtesy. So when you're comparing groups and you notice that we might charge the same or more than others, consider the fact that you should have the highest possible quality at your event, since you probably don't hire professional musicians every day. This is an important event for you, so you should have musicians that will do you proud. Musicians who you can have confidence in. Musicians who care as much as you do and have as much PRIDE in their work as you do in putting on a really beautiful affair.

 "..Just got back from our honeymoon, and we couldn't wait to write to let you know how unbelieveable you were at our wedding!" "…everyone we spoke to raved about your performance. The ceremony was absolutely amazing. Kim broke down as soon as you began to play "Green Light".""Your performance was absolutely beautiful, and we can't thank you enough!""…we've already referred another couple to you who are getting married next year!"

We play Pachelbel and Bach and Haydn & Jewish Music, as well as Spanish, Italian, Greek, African, Indian and the musics of many other cultures...virtuosically and sensitively. You tell us what you want to hear, and we play it! Check out the partial list of music below.

Shilakowsky String Quartet

Harris Shilakowsky, first violinist & leader of the Shilakowsky String Quartet, former concertmaster of the New Orleans and London Symphonies. He works with many famous musicians, both classical and popular, such as Rod Stewart, Moody Blues, Jethro Tull, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Doc Severinsen, Sir Colin Davis.

All of our members are...Professional string players who perform with the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, Lyric Opera Company of Boston, Rhode Island Philharmonic, etc.

The leader - violinist, Harris Shilakowsky, is music director of the Bristol Chamber Orchestra and former concertmaster for the New Orleans, London, Omaha, and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras. member info

performing music for...

Weddings, Commitment Ceremonies, Bar Mitzvah & Birthday Parties, Celebrations, Parties, Cocktail Hour, Background Music for Restaurants, Industrial Applications including Film, TV, Videogame & Commercials, Special Events, Concerts Fund-raisers & conducting Educational Performances & String Clinics

"...lively dance-tunes, & hauntingly beautiful, spiritual melodies..."

"...I loved it!"

free CD...Christian, General, Jewish

 Special Requests? No problem!

If you can't see the video screen on the left, you can download the video to your own computer by pushing one of these links.

Shilakowsky String Quartet video

-or- a Jewish Video

why use SSQ?

people say...

kind of music?

about the members


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Our music includes

•    classical selections

•    tunes from Broadway Musicals

•    Operas

•    Jazz and Popular Artists

•    Fun Party Songs

•    waltzes

•    Jewish Music including Yiddish songs, Wedding Music, traditional joyous and moving ethnic music including Hebrew, & Israeli music, Fiddler on the Roof.

•    Italian music

•    American Classics & Popular Songs

•    African songs

•    Popular & Traditional Chinese Songs

•    Latino Music including Salsa & Marengues

•    and music of many other nations and cultures including an extensive repertoire of

•    Christian music including music appropriate for Catholic services.
SSQ performs Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Vivaldi (4 Seasons), Borodin, Favorite excerpts from operas by Puccini, Verdi, etc., popular classics by Bach, Gounod, Tchaikowsky, Vangelis

...and for cocktail hour or jazz weddings; Jazz Classics - Autumn Nocturne, Body & Soul, Fascinatin' Rhythm, I Got Rhythm, Lullaby of Birdland, Joplin Rags, Ellington Compositions, and more.


wedding march (Mendelssohn), Brandenburg Concerto (JS Bach)

Meditation from "Thaïs" (Massanet), Canon (Pachelbel)

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach)

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart),

Water Music (Handel), Sinfonies De Fanfares, Rondeau (Mouret), Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)


Simon Tov

Hevenu Shalom

Chosen Kallah Mazel Tov

Erev Shel Shoshanim (An Evening of Roses), Dodi Li, K'var Achare Chatsot, K'shoshana Ben Hachochim, Klezmer Wedding Medley- including Doina, Hora, Chusidl, & Freylach.

 Od Yishama, Sherele & Freylach Zain, Patch Tantz, Jewish Wedding Marches, Sher, Tumbalalaika, Mamele, Chosen Kale Mazel Tov, Broyges Tantz
WATCH the 

Ask for a complete listing of our Jewish Repertoire.

By the way, many of our arrangements are also available for purchase for musicians to play yourself!

Please fill out the questionaire so we can generate a customized, discounted no obligation package including your quote. 

Questions? For information, please
Our Quartet consists of professional string players who are all active free-lance musicians performing regularly with groups such as the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and the Lyric Opera Company of Boston.

1st violinist & leader, Harris Shilakowsky,

former concertmaster for the New Orleans, London, Omaha, and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras.

Harris Shilakowsky, leader -violinist

Sargis Karapetyan, violinist
Amy Rawstron, violinist
Lary Chaplin, violinist
Stanley Silverman, violinist
Dani Rimoni, violist
Frances Grimes, violist
Eve Boltax, violist
Aleksandr Vavilov, violist
Rob Bethel, cellist
Johann Soultz, cellist
Ben Kulp, cellist
Laura Cetilia, cellist

Please fill out the questionaire so we can generate a customized, discounted no obligation package including your quote.

Fill out the form on the right to get your exact quote & answers to your questions.