The cost of being the best string quartet? £295 + VAT
Today we received a gushing telephone call from a wedding magazine informing us that they were running a special feature about the ‘top twelve’ suppliers of classical music for weddings in the UK. After “careful consideration”, they wanted to recommend the Manor House String Quartet (yes us!) to represent the South East of England – because they had listened to the quality of our playing, been impressed with our wedding string quartet music list, particularly our modern wedding string quartet songs and apparently we are highly recommended by wedding venues. It felt a bit like winning an award – there was talk of photographs, sample playlists, player biographies – in short it was to be a glowing recommendation.
I had a warm, fuzzy glow - until we were told that for the magazine to recommend us as the ‘best string quartet in the South East’ would cost us £295 + VAT. I pointed out that if the publication was charging to recommend a group, then what was their recommendation worth? Surely – I argued – rather than being a helpful guide to the best classical groups in the UK, it was only really a helpful guide to the classical groups that could afford to spend quite a large chunk of money to advertise in the magazine….. so not actually impartial, unbiased or useful to brides looking for a sincere recommendation based on quality.
The salesperson didn’t quite grasp this logic and despite heaping praise on us at the beginning of the call, put the phone down quickly saying he would move onto another wedding string quartet instead – presumably joint winners of this prestigious title.
Ah well – it’s always nice to be recommended but I think we’ll just leave it up to the people who want to recommend us because they genuinely think we’re a good quartet, not because we pay them to say so.