Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Navarra Quartet
String Quartet
BBT Fellowship 2007

Navarra Quartet - Biography

Navarra Quartet was supported by BBT between 2007 and 2011. For an up to date biography go to

Benjamin Marquise Gilmore violin
Laia Valentin Braun violin
Sascha Bota viola
Brian O’Kane cello

Formed in 2002, the Navarra Quartet has built an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and poetic string quartets of today. Selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) from 2006 to 2010, they have been awarded the MIDEM Classique Young Artist Award, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. They have appeared at venues including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, and at international festivals such as Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Aix-en-Provence and Bergen.

Further afield they have given concerts in Russia, the USA, China, Korea, Australia and the Middle East, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, RAI 3 (Italy), Radio 4 (Holland), SWR (Germany), Radio Luxembourg and ABC Classic FM (Australia). Highly-acclaimed recordings include BBT-supported Haydn’s The Seven Last Words for Altara Records, a disc of music by Joseph Phibbs for NMC Records, and a disc of Pēteris Vasks’ first three String Quartets for Challenge Records, which they recorded whilst working closely with the composer himself. The recording was described by critics as “stunning”, “sensational” and “compelling”, and was nominated for the prestigious German Schallplattenkritik Award.

The Quartet plays on a variety of fine instruments which include an unknown, old English viola and a Grancino cello made in Milan in 1698, generously on loan from the Cruft – Grancino Trust which is administered by the Royal Society of Musicians.

Last updated: August 2021


The BB trust fellowship has enabled us to pursue our artistic goals with freedom and integrity by providing us with vital support both personally and financially. At an imperative time in our careers we have benefitted from the huge amount of knowledge and experience of those at the BB trust and the great artists attached to it. This unique support is truly a gift which continues to nourish our development.

Navarra Quartet

Photographs by Matthew Johnson