Sally Pendlebury grew up in Manchester and studied cello at Chetham's School of Music. She continued her cello studies in London where she won the Capitol Radio Award and was a prize winner in the Shell/LSO competition. Subsequent scholarships took her to Düsseldorf and Boston to further her studies and on her return she became a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 1988.
She was a founder member of the Vellinger Quartet who won the London International String Quartet Competition in 1994. The quartet played regularly in Europe, Japan and USA, in halls such as Carnegie New York, Casals Japan, Kammermusiksalle Berlin, Konzerthaus Vienna, and Concertgebouw Amsterdam. The quartet also performed in many festivals such as BBC Proms, Salzburg, Mondsee and Edinburgh.
She plays guest principal cello with Philharmonia, RPO, BBC Philharmonic, London, Sinfonietta, English Chamber Orchestra and Salzburg Camerata.
She is currently a member of the award winning Fitzwilliam Quartet, in 2018 the quartet embark on their project to record the Beethoven Quartets on gut strings. She is also in the Angell Piano Trio and Möbius Ensemble and plays regularly in Chamber festivals throughout UK, Europe and USA. She is professor of cello at Royal Northern College of Music.