The Artists 

The Madoc Quartet

 The Madoc Quartet:   four accomplished orchestral musicians sharing a passion for the string quartet and discovered in each other the desire to  classical music  with people who rarely, if ever, get to hear a professional concert hall performance.  Finessing the traditional string quartet repertoire  and exploring new sounds in music by modern and particularly Canadian composers, the Madoc Quartet is primed  to bring great music to audiences everywhere.  "Canadian composers are writing the music for our time," Sebastian Sallans, quartet leader, says. "The string quartet is an sonorous, versatile and stunningly beautiful instrument for which the great composers wrote their best music.  The Madoc Quartet  wants everyone, no matter where they live and what their music experience is, to have the chance to discover and enjoy it all."  Exciting performances can be expected from this exceptional  ensemble. 

Violinist Sebastian Sallans graduated B.Mus, Performance Violin from University of Toronto in 2014. Since then he has earned a reputation as a sensitive and  accomplished ensemble musician, performing as soloist, concert master / assistant concert master and orchestral musician with orchestras across the GTA, Ontario, and Quebec, including the Niagara Symphony, Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the North-Bay Symphony Orchestra (Principle 2nd) and  the l’Orchestre symphonique régional Abitibi-Témiscamingue.  He is a founding member of the Madoc Quartet,  the piano duo, Driveshaft with pianist Todd Yaniw, the 6ix Quartet and  jazz hybrid, Das Trio.  Sebastian is a versatile multi-genre musician. His solo performance credits include appearances  in the GTA, across the Quinte Region, and recitals in Salzburg, Austria. 


Sebastian is drawn to the music of our time, collaborating with  contemporary composers including  Patricia Moorehead, Andy Slade and  Jacques Marchand as well performing the traditional repertoire of the classical violinist.  Sebastian studied under Mark Skazinetsky (TSO), Jonathan Crowe (TSO) Karoli Sziladi (NACO), Michael Frischenschlager (Salzburg Mozarteum), Andrew Wan (OSM)  and Victor Dernovski  (l'Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse) and continues to pursue advanced instruction.  He also enjoys fiddle music, learning his tunes as a child  from his grandfather, Bill Sallans and Ottawa Valley legend, Bruce Wilson.  


Possessed of a highly personable stage presence and known for his deeply effective communicative style in performance, Sebastian enacts his commitment to promoting classical music from the stage and also as Artistic Director of the Quinte Society for Chamber Music.  A well-known musical figure in the Quinte area, Sebastian grew up in  Madoc township,  and spent his summers and holidays with  his grandparents in Prince Edward County.  His grandfather taught him to fiddle, his mother saw to his  classical training in violin and piano, and his friends and neighbors taught him to play the music of any genre or period in a way that includes everyone. To QSCM he brings a personal understanding of the Hastings- Prince Edward community and to every performance a heartfelt desire to share beautiful music with all.

Violinist Leslie Townsend has an impressive roster of highly respected European professional qualifications and earning his B. Mus. Hons from Trinity Laban in the UK, M. Mus from the Vienna Privat Universität, and a Violin Certificate from St. Petersburg, in Russia. Originally from London, UK, Leslie is classically trained in violin and piano. His performing career has taken him on tour in Africa, Europe, Canada and Asia.


Inspired and supported by amazing teachers and family, starting at 8 he quickly made progress and at 14 played as soloist in Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’. Yehudi Menuhin called him ‘a player of passion and interest’.  In search of his family and musical heritage he studied in Russia, where his great grandmother had studied piano. Returning to England his string quartet won prizes at Trinity Laban and nationally before touring France and Switzerland. In Vienna he learned the precision and gracefulness of the Viennese style; before starting a busy playing career including: Music Theatre tours in Holland and Belgium, working for the BBC and teaching students.


Violist Sarah de Niverville performs and teaches in the Greater Toronto Area, and has been a core member of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra since 2018. Previously, she was a four-time member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, acting as Co-Principal Viola for three summers. Prior to pursuing graduate studies in Victoria, British Columbia, Sarah became the youngest member of Symphony New Brunswick at age 23. Additionally, she has played with the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the Scarborough Philharmonic, the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, and the Galiano Ensemble. Outside of Canada, Sarah has performed in Portugal, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, China and Italy. She also enjoys teaching children in Scarborough as part of the Sistema Toronto program.


Sarah earned her Master of Music in Performance at the University of Victoria under the tutelage of Joanna Hood of the Lafayette String Quartet. She previously earned her Bachelor of Music in Performance from the Université de Moncton, studying with Nadia Francavilla and Isabelle Fournier.

Raised in Owen Sound, Ontario, cellist Sebastian Ostertag combines rich musical traditions, and with a strong commitment to community service and involvement. He received his Bachelor of Music from Western University, an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Music at the University of Toronto, studying with acclaimed cellists Shauna Rolston and Joseph Johnson.

From 2010-2013, Sebastian was principal cellist of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, and he has performed in concerts directed by such esteemed conductors as Mario Bernardi, Johannes Debus, Leon Fleisher and Peter Oundjian. As a soloist Sebastian has performed with the Georgian Bay and Prince George Symphony Orchestras, Northern Orchestra British Columbia, the Kincardine Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and on CBC Radio and Classical 96.3 FM. Chamber music performances have included the Banff Centre Chamber Music Residency, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the Sweetwater Music Festival.

Although classically trained, Sebastian has also performed with many of Canada’s leading popular musicians. He recorded on Basia Bulat’s Polaris Prize nominated records Oh My Darling, and Heart of My Own, and performed at the Ottawa Blues Festival, the Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts, and throughout Europe. Sebastian can also be heard on ShadK’s multiple Polaris Prize nominated albums, including the JUNO award winning record TSOL, and as a founding member of the Toronto based Interro Quartet.

A strong advocate of arts accessibility and education, Sebastian is a co-founder of Orchestra North Smithers, one of British Columbia’s foremost summer programs for classical music training and mentorship, and is also Artistic Director of Orchestra North Owen Sound, and the former Director of the Prince George Youth Orchestra, organizing concert tours throughout Northern British Columbia. He has coached regularly at the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Kingsway Conservatory, the University of Toronto Chamber Orchestra, and the Durham Youth Orchestra, and is a cello faculty member at El Sistema Toronto.

When not performing and teaching, Sebastian enjoys skiing and camping, as well as co-coordinating the annual Noon Hour Concert Series with his father, Joachim.

Sebastian Ostertag

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