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Corporate entertainment ideas

for any event


music played

Classical music
and folk tunes too

Do you need a few ideas for corporate entertainment? What about classical music? Maybe you never thought about it and wonder how it could be, so read something here. Right click to download brochure

Many people associate live classical music only with serious concerts or with wedding ceremonies and receptions, but you can add an elegant touch to any event or party, be it your corporate entertainment for a conference, an important meeting, or a private event like a graduation ceremony, or a birthday. You could organize a garden party, an elegant dinner, a dance or theatrical show, a short cruise,  a private evening, whatever you can think of.

And you want folk music instead of classical, you can have it, click here.

If you are in a hurry and have no clue about classical music for corporate entertainment, click any of the following links to skip straight to the page section that interests you, otherwise keep reading and you'll get there anyway

Shortest history of "corporate entertainment"

Which instruments?
- Something different?

Music entertainment ideas (repertoire)

Solo viola - Viola and piano

How much?

Testimonials about my viola playing
wonderful to hear a solo viola
(& played so well)

Read more testimonials

Click on photos to enlarge

Corporate entertainment: Royal Navy dinner with music

With Royal Navy Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham, Commodore David Evans at their reception with classical music entertainment in London

Reception music in Oriel College, Oxford
Above and below:
Oriel College, Oxford, corporate entertainment for a school
of English, welcoming foreign students

The shortest history of
"corporate entertainment"

In the past, before the advent of recorded music, radio, TV, cinema etc. (which are wonderful inventions, I'm not implying anything against them) this is what people used to do.

When meeting, instead of putting a CD on, turn radio or TV on, watch a film on a cassette or DVD, as we do now, people would play their own instruments or have somebody play music to entertain them. Most of what is called "chamber music" (as opposed to church music, or operas or symphonic music and works composed for big celebrations) was written and published to be played at home by more or less skilled amateurs for their own pleasure, or by professionals invited at somebody else's home.

Even a lot of the classical music which is today performed in formal concerts, was conceived as part of a bigger "corporate" entertainment event, commissioned by the church or the aristocracy. The most famous examples are Handel's Water music (performed in 1717 for a royal party, a journey on the River Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea and back) and the Music for the Royal Fireworks (performed in 1749 at fireworks display in Green Park, London, for the celebrations of the Peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle). Now I'll mention here only some very famous composers and curious examples of "corporate" entertainment and classical music entertainment for private use:
  • Beethoven played piano at a political conference such as the Congress of Vienna
  • Paganini used to play his quartets at his solicitor's home with him and other friends
  • Bach apparently composed his Goldberg Variations for Count Keyserlingk, to be played to entertain him by night as he couldn't sleep
  • In Don Giovanni, one of most famous Mozart's operas, Don Giovanni sings a serenade to seduce one more lady, with his servant Leporello playing mandolin; later in the same opera, you can find him having dinner with a small orchestra playing there for him
and there are many more examples.

Many things have changed over the time, but why not have the same music entertainment today, your very personal performance only for you and your guests, maybe even with your favourite music? Having a contact with real, living performers will make it special indeed.

Watch this video

Bach, Choral Jesu, joy of man's desiring

Welcome music in Oriel college, Oxford

Music at a garden tea party - Christ Church, Oxford, Masters' Garden

Here, in Christ Church Cathedral Masters’ Garden, Oxford, with the Registrar and the Dean

Corporate entertainment: Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
I played several times at corporate events for Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. With the Registrar,
Masters’ Garden

music entertainment at St. Hilda's College

Corporate entertainment in
St Hilda's College, Oxford, Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, welcoming foreign students of English

Hotel reception music

Music for a private reception in a hotel in Oxford

Barbecue music

I’d be very happy to help you to make your reception or other event even more memorable with music played on my viola (not a violin, it's slightly bigger, with a mellow tone). Have a look here at some photos of receptions and see how a classical music entertainment could fit your special event too, find some ideas for corporate entertainment: a list of works, music to listen and read testimonials about the viola and my playing.

You'll see that this entertainment can fit any place, at home, in a museum, in a garden, on a boat, at a restaurant or in a college, especially if yours is in a small venue or with a small group of guests or you don't want to spend a lot with many players.

You can also find here suggestions and links about a few venues in and around Oxford which can be hired for corporate and private events and where you can have music too.
Music entertainment for a boat cruise party on river Thames, Oxford

Corporate entertainment: Music for a cruise party
on the river Thames

Music entertainment at a reception in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

This is a reception in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, a really awesome venue, where you can surround yourself and your guest with antiquities and art masterworks! See here some Greek and Roman sculptures. Did you know it? It's available for conferences, meetings, for corporate entertainment (and you also help to support the museum).

Link to Ashmolean Museum
Music entertainment at a reception in Oxford: Masters' Graden, Christ Church Cathedral

Corporate entertainment at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, reception in the Masters' Garden

Which instruments?

Many times, when someone organizes a private reception or corporate entertainment, especially a small one, they don't know where to find musicians. Some venues, like restaurants or hotels may have their own musician, often a pianist. You can either have him play for you or choose to have somebody else, in either case, you'd have to ask them as to what to do.

Another very common option (there are many agencies providing musicians), can be a string quartet, that is usually composed of four string players (2 violins, viola and cello, with some variations), although four players are more expensive than one and if you go with an agency they will, rightly, charge their share.

If you decide for a quartet, I warmly recommend you  you www.manorhousemusic.co.uk, my friend violin player Vaughan Jones's quartet. They are a professional string quartet available for weddings, parties, concerts, recitals and recordings.

So, if you are looking for some music entertainment in Oxford, London or around it, you may want to consider a soloist playing an easily movable instrument, maybe you're looking for a classical violinist, so what about...

Music entertainment for another boat cruise

More music entertainment for another short boat cruise
on the river Thames in Oxford

Something different?

So, you'd like to have something different, unusual? Then a solo viola (or with piano if there is one) is the answer (most people would say "violin" when they see it). The viola has a warm, mellow tone and once you hear it you’ll love it. At your reception you can have a variety of works, from classical, to folk, opera arias and I can play your favourite tune. Also being the viola a portable instrument, it can be easily moved around the venue so, even if it's large, everybody can have his or her own personal music performance (see photo below) and you won't see unsightly music stand and sheet music flying around (especially outdoor with some breeze), everything is played from memory.

Testimonials about my viola playing
beautiful mellow tone

Read more testimonials

Classical music entertainment - Reception at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

A reception in the Mallett
Gallery of the Ashmolean
Museum in Oxford

Music entertainment ideas

For your corporate entertainment, or private reception, function or party, the choice of music is vast and free. It's nice to have a variety of music genres, styles and moods, therefore I play a mix of classical and folk music, lively and slow, they all sound great on my viola (my listeners say so, as you can read in some testimonials)

You can listen to some music clips, click each name and watch videos. I warmly recommend you to use your headphones for better results!

Have a look and see how this ideas for music entertainment could fit your special event too, from famous classical music pieces to folk tunes and songs. Click the name to listen to a sample.



Bach, Courante n.1

Classical music

Bach, Cello Suites n.1 & 3 (Prélude 1, Allemande 1, Courante 1, Sarabande 1, Menuet 1, Gigue 1; Prélude 3, Allemande 3, Courante 3, Sarabande 3, Bourrée 3, Gigue 3), Air on the G string, Choral “Jesus, joy of Man's desiring, BWV147

Bernstein, Maria

Handel, Largo, from Xerse

Mascagni, Intermezzo from “Cavalleria rusticana (video)

Massenet, Meditation from "Thais"

Mozart, “Voi che sapete” from Marriage of Figaro, “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni

Pachelbel, Canon

Paganini, Adagio cantabile

Puccini, “E lucean le stelle” from Tosca, “Ch’ella mi creda” from The girl from the west

Stamitz, Viola Concerto

Telemann, Viola Concerto (Largo, Allegro, Adagio, Presto)

Vivaldi, Adagio from the Winter

Bach, Prélude n.1

Watch more videos of some of the above tunes
Bach, from Cello suite n.3 BWV 1009: Sarabande,
Bernstein, Maria from West Side Story
Mascagni, Intermezzo from “Cavalleria rusticana

Folk music

Here is a list of folk music I play: English, Scottish, Irish, American, songs and dances (waltzes, jigs, etc.), including some of the most famous ones, which will make some people start to sing along:

The greenwood tree, The south wind, Fanny Power, Michael Turner’s waltz, Iron legs, Sportsman’s hornpipe, The road to Lisdonvaarna, Greensleeves, Ye banks and braes, Skye boat song, My Bonnie, My love is like a red red rose, Ashokan farewell, Inneshere, Old Danny boy, Carrickfergus, Philadelphia soldier's joy, Bonaparte’s retreat, Dark island, Sally Gardens, The land of my fathers (Welsh National anthem).

Watch my videos
of some of the above tunes
Carrickfergus, Sally Gardens, The greenwood tree, The south wind, Michael Turner’s waltz, Miss Rowan Davies, Sportsman’s hornpipe and The road to Lisdonvaarna

Fanny Power

If you have a favourite tune, ask me, I can play it especially for you


If you have a piano in your house or other venue, why not offer your guests a special musical entertainment? For your private reception, here are some suitable works, which can be alternated with some solo piano and solo viola works:

Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata n. 3 in G minor for viola and piano
Georg Philip Telemann, Viola concerto in G major (Largo, Allegro, Adagio, Presto)
Luigi Boccherini, Sonata in C minor for viola and piano
Alessandro Rolla, Sonata in C major for viola and piano
Niccolò Paganini, Sonata in A minor for viola and piano (Adagio cantabile)

And if you'd like to organize something bigger for your corporate entertainment or more formal like a concert, you can choose some works with a small or medium sized orchestra, such as:

Organize you own concert, classical music entertainment - Viola player - Stamitz

Classical music entertainment for a reception in Oxford

Corporate entertainment
with v
iola music for a
in Oxford

Classical music entertainment at a reception in Oxford Town hall

Corporate entertainment at a reception in
Oxford Town Hall

Link to Oxford Town Hall

Music entertainment in Christ Church, Oxford

Music for a reception in Christ Church Cathedral Masters’ Garden, Oxford, another garden party

Music at a function in Oriel College in Oxford
Corporate entertainment: Oriel College, Oxford Reception music for a school of English, welcoming foreign students

Hotel reception music

Music for a private reception in a hotel in Oxford

Barbecue music

Viola and orchestra
Karl Stamitz, Concerto in D major
Georg Philip Telemann, Concerto in G major

or Violin, viola and orchestra
Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante

or even 2 Violas and orchestra
J. S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto n.6 (2 violas and strings)
Georg Philip Telemann, Concerto in G major for 2 violas

Or you can have the music of your choice organized especially for you, just ask!

How much?

I bet you're wondering now, how much is my corporate or private entertainment going to cost me?

First of all, maybe it’s necessary to remind, since some people tend to forget it, that professionals musicians are professionals exactly like accountants, dentists etc. and in order to maintain a high quality standard they need to be paid professional rates.

Therefore, when you pay for a music performance, like any professional service, you don’t pay just for that one or two hours the musician(s) spends there, you need to take into account the preparation of that service, that is the time spent to practice and learn the pieces of music and expenses (if you ever tried to learn to play an instrument you’ll understand what it takes, if you’ve never done it I’d encourage you to start learning one now, just to see what it means).

Of course, you can always find someone willing to do it for nearly no money but ask yourself why? If it’s a friend of yours who wants to do it as a present for you, fine, it’s a different matter, otherwise the answer is simple: like anything else, they're not doing it professionally and you get what you pay for.

Would you book your venue, catering, photographer and everything else for your party or event from someone who's not a professional in his or her business, based on the price only, choosing the cheapest you can get? Even if you are on a tight budget, there has to be a balance between the price and the quality.

Having said that, the price for some music entertainment depends on many factors, like the number of performers and duration of the event.

Generally speaking, the more players there are, the less they get paid individually (within limits) and vice versa. This is because within a group the responsibility on each player is less heavy than the responsibility a duo or a soloist have. It’s easy to understand, if you are a solo player and something doesn’t go quite right, there is nobody around to blame. The difficulties of the music pieces are all on the shoulders of one or two players. Besides this, not all musicians feel happy about playing solo, so this reduces the number of solo/duo performers available.

As to duration, the minimum is generally one hour, for example for a graduation ceremony only, including some time before and after it for congratulations, photos, etc., when you can have some music played.

However, from my experience, most private and corporate events will last from two to three hours, from when you guests start to arrive to when most of them have left, so consider having musician(s) at your venue for about three hours.

So, to recapitulate, duo or solo performers are more expensive individually, although with a group you have to add up all the individual amounts and therefore to have a quartet for example, you end up with paying more than a duo or a soloist. To give you a rough idea, you could get some professional music played at your special event from a minimum of about £150-200, again, based on the number of players and on how long you want the music for.

Anyway, regardless of the style you choose and the amount of money you want to spend, I’d recommend you to always book professional performers, people who have experience and will really help you to organise this event and make it really memorable for you and your guests.

Thanks for your visit, contact me for more information, to send a comment or to book your music entertainment or for a live chat call: (UK) 07985 025129.

Go from corporate entertainment to Wedding music
Go from corporate entertainment to Bollywood songs
Go from corporate entertainment to Home page

For more musicians and ideas for your entertainment around UK, visit:

if you decide for a quartet, I warmly recommend you www.manorhousemusic.co.uk, my friend violin player Vaughan Jones's quartet, a professional string quartet available for parties, weddings, concerts, recitals and recordings.

Wedding and Corporate Entertainment Specialists Your number one Entertainment and Corporate Event Agency in the UK and Abroad. Whatever you are looking for in the way of entertainment requirements we have it all here! We supply artists and entertainment equipment all over the World

Music at Broughton castle

Another idea for corporate entertainment: music performance with a dance company at Broughton Castle, Banbury, Oxford. Here we were on the top of a very thick wall

Classical music entertainment for a private reception for a graduation party at home

Classical music entertainment for a private reception

Classical music entertainment at a garden tea party - Christ Church, Oxford

Corporate entertainment for Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford: a garden tea party in the Masters’ Garden. As you can see, this is a large garden and I was wandering around between the guests’ tables so that everybody could hear the music and we could also exchange a few words.
Christ Church Cathedral

Music at a birthday dinner

Music at a special
birthday dinner

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Tel.07985 025129 - 01865 669020
Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK

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