SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – “Your classical pieces are awesome, but I never thought Kesha or Britney Spears would ever sound like that.”

Cellist Daniel Shevlin, a New Jersey native, said audiences are always surprised by the selection of music played by the string quartet Well-Strung, which will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 21.

“And also the reverse happens where people who are into pop music have been like ‘Your classical stuff was so cool,’” Shevlin said.

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Since forming in 2012, the string quartet has developed an impressive following, performing classical takes on modern pop music. In fact, their act is so popular that Shevlin, along with first violinist Edmund Bagnell, second violinist Christopher Marchant and violist Trevor Wadleigh have played all over the world, including a recent appearance on the “Today” show.

The SOPAC concert will be the group's New Jersey debut. “I absolutely love it,” Shevlin said about performing in his home state. “Hopefully, I will have some family members in the audience. I’m really excited. I think it’s great.”

In addition to arranging string versions of contemporary hits such as Kesha’s “Your Love is My Drug” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” the group plays traditional compositions as well as mash-ups of classical and pop songs. They also sing, which Shevlin said is unique because it’s very challenging to sing and play an instrument simultaneously.

Shevlin noted that Well-Strung has fans of all ages. He said people not familiar with modern or string music can still appreciate their shows.

One such fan is SOPAC board member David Stone, who said he was “awestruck” when he saw Well-Strung perform and thought it would be a great opportunity to bring them to South Orange.

“I think this show can be enjoyed by anyone who loves any genre of music,” Stone said. “It’s an exposure and an experience unlike anything they would anticipate.”  

For ticket information, visit the SOPAC website at

Link to music video:

Link to Today Show performance: