A modern take on a classical quartet!
Maxim, Navin, Jackson & Sage are four close friends,
who also happen to be exceptionally talented musicians!
When you're a classical musician in Melbourne, everyone knows everyone, however it was a month-long tour of China performing 'The Marriage of Figaro' with the Australian International Opera Company, that allowed Navin & Sage to finally cross paths. Playing chamber music in tiny hotel rooms was so much fun, that upon returning to Australia they founded the Briar String Quartet, along with their fellow Conservatorium friends.
Since 2016, they have been performing for weddings, events, and commercial projects across Australia. You may have heard them on the radio, the big screen, at a best friends wedding, or on a main stage.
Their motto? Everything sounds better with strings!
Briar String Quartet
Sage - Cello
Every time I play, I am reminded of the butterflies I felt in my very first cello lesson at age 13. After studying the piano and flute for many years, I finally discovered the great musical love of my life. I named my beautiful 100-year old Czech cello Costin, after the Prince Charming from a fairytale. Together we have travelled the world on study trips to Europe and the U.S, opera tours across Asia, and a musicians residency in Canada. When I'm not performing, I enjoy watching action films, cooking up vegetarian feasts with my husband, and releasing my own music as a singer-songwriter/producer.
Navin - Violin & Viola
Navin is an eclectic performer, known for integrating various styles of music into his playing. His diverse career launched with his work as a session musician and contemporary performer. A rare combination of perfect pitch and Synesthesia (seeing colours as he hears music) allows him to be an exceptional improviser and talented songwriter. Navin honed his craft under the teaching directions of Roy Theaker and Dr Curt Thompson at the Melbourne Conservatory of Music, where he completed his Graduate Diploma of Music Performance in 2015. If he has free time in his packed schedule you'll find playing ultimate frisbee, or spending time with his Labrador Penny.
Jackson - Violin & Viola
I decided back in Grade 4 that the guitar was way too mainstream, so I picked up the violin. After a decade and a half of studying, touring, recording and composing, I still haven't put it down - though I'm still yet to play it (ba dum tsh). Joking aside, I'm a huge fan of combining traditional instruments with modern music styles, and you can often find me playing my violin (Marjorie) or my viola (Maureen) alongside a growing clutter of synthesizers, electronics, and friends.
Maxim - Violin
Maxim Sheko is a multi-faceted musician whose roots stem from his intense studies as a classical violinist and composer. His journey with the violin began at the age of eight. He later attended the elite Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, and then went on to complete his Masters of Music Performance in 2021 at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Maxim is now a trained Suzuki teacher. When he isn’t busy teaching or performing, he enjoys having a night out with friends or unwinding with some Seinfeld.
Everything sounds better with strings!
12 Hours on a Roof Top!
On a balmy February evening in 2018, we embarked on the biggest performance of our lives, playing for 12 hours from dusk 'til dawn, on a rooftop, to an audience of over half a million at White Night Melbourne.
Throughout the night we played everything from Movie Themes to Minimalism, Jazz to Gypsy, and Dance Anthems to Danish Folk. We'll never forget the surreal moment the sun began to rise over a sleeping city skyline, to the sound of Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 2 'Company'.
Read more about our marathon performance at Rehearsal Magazine!
We had the honour of providing musicians for the soundtrack to the
Dancers from prestigious ballet companies, designer garments, exquisite lighting and state-of-the-art filmmaking technology combine in a work-of-art that showcases the extreme athleticism and sublime beauty in dance as never before. Featuring elite dancers from The Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and Queensland Ballet, ‘missed nuance’ uses ultra-slow motion photography to ‘slow time’, revealing a mesmerising spectacle of dance movement.
Music & Dance Combined
In 2020, the gorgeous and groundbreaking Woodes released her debut album, Crystal Ball; a 10-track triumph of cinematic pop, featuring strings from Briar String Quartet.
Prior to the album release, Nav & Sage joined Woodes and her band on the Howler stage for her Interwoven show, pairing her greatest hits alongside new unreleased songs. One of our favourite moments from the night was performing an acoustic version of This Is My Year.
Listen to our complete Session Strings playlist on Spotify!