The Astor String Quartet has enjoyed playing together for over 25 years. During this time we've played at a
wide range of events and venues, both in the UK and internationally, including over 700 weddings.
We've played to notable audiences, including HRH The Prince Of Wales, Diana - Princess of Wales, Jane Seymour, Cliff Richard, The Lord Mayor of London, Deauville Casino, Chelsea Flower Show and the BBC.
Company clients include: BMW, British Airways, EMI, Hoverspeed, Thames Water, The RAF,
Marks and Spencer, The Foreign Office, Reuters, Scottish Widows and Mercedes.
We love what we do and want to make your event even better with our music!
Penelope Gee - Violin
Penelope was brought up in Harrow. She studied violin from the age of 8 and furthered her studies at the Royal College of Music, London.
She founded the Astor String Quartet while at university.
She's played and recorded for the London Salon Ensemble and sessions at Abbey Road. As well as performing with the Wren Orchestra, she has played for London shows, including at Her Majesty's, London. TV work includes The Lenny Henry Show and Hotel Babylon.
She currently has a residency at the Ritz London, as well as teaching children at a prep school in Berkshire.
When not playing, Penelope enjoys cake decoration and gained her pilot's licence a few years ago.
Julia Atkinson - Violin
Julia was born in Skipton and started playing the violin at the age of eleven, having been inspired by her grandfather, a professional violinist. She went on to study at the Royal College of Music and The National Centre for Orchestral Studies.
As a freelance musician, her work has included the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northern Ballet Theatre, various West End shows and playing at The Ritz Hotel and as a TV extra!
She played for a season in Parma, Italy and was a member of The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra in Norway.
She enjoys a busy career as a violin teacher, having taught at The Royal College and Trinity College of Music and as Head of Strings at St Dunstan's College. In her free time, Julia enjoys walking England's national trails.
Sheila Holdsworth - Viola
Sheila originally hails from Saltaire in Bradford, and started playing viola at the age of fifteen.
She attended music college in London and gained a Postgraduate Degree in Orchestral Studies at Goldsmiths College, London.
Sheila's played with London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra Wales, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet; plus the Bootleg Beatles on BBC1 and on tour.
She has featured on film scores, including Eyes Wide Shut and Gangs of New York. She has also played in West End shows Les Miserables and the Sound of Music, with Connie Fisher.
She has even played at Mick Jagger’s Christmas party!
Ingrid Perrin - Cello
Ingrid is originally from Devon and started playing cello and piano at the age of 6. She continued her musical education at Wells Cathedral School and the University of York.
During her career she's played with Elvis Costello, Heaven 17 and ABC. She's also played at the National Theatre and the RSC, touring with Lumière and Son Theatre Company, many chamber ensembles, as well as dance companies such as Second Stride. She teaches at one of the regional Guildhall Young Artist centres and is part of the Sistema social project of teaching, based on the Venezuelan system. She also runs her own private practice - teaching adult students.
When not playing, Ingrid enjoys sewing, swimming at her local lido, and has created a popular course for baby massage with classical music.