Who We Are

The Madoc Quartet: four accomplished string players with  a passion for chamber music  and the desire to share that passion with contemporary audiences. MQ's debut concert series, "The All Terrain Tour, 2020," sponsored by the Quinte Society for Chamber Music,  was an unmitigated success, earning accolades for excellence in performance and a warm, inviting presentation style.  Committed to finessing the traditional string quartet repertoire and exploring new music by modern composers, recent performances include  the premiere of a new work by  Canadian Jacques Marchand scored specifically for this ensemble.  MQ  leader Sebastian Sallans says, "Canadian composers are writing the music for our time. The String Quartet is a sonorous, versatile and stunningly beautiful instrument for which the great composers wrote their best music. We want everyone to be able to hear and enjoy chamber music at its best.”  Exciting performances can be expected from this ensemble of exceptional musicians.  


Violinist Sebastian Sallans appears regularly as concert master / associate concert master and orchestral musician with the Niagara Symphony, Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the North-Bay Symphony Orchestra (principle 2nd)  the l’Orchestre symphonique régional Abitibi-Témiscamingue and other orchestras across the GTA, Ontario and Quebec.   Versatile and innovative, Sallans is a founding member of the Madoc Quartet,  the piano trio, Driveshaft with pianist Todd Yaniw, the 6ix Quartet and  jazz hybrid, Das Trio. His solo performance credits include appearances in the GTA, across the Quinte Region, and recitals in Salzburg, Austria. Collaborators include Canadian composers Patricia Moorehead, Andy Slade and  Jacques Marchand.


A graduate of  the University of Toronto's Violin Performance Bachelor of Music program, 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 enjoys fiddle music, learning his tunes as a child  from his grandfather, Bill Sallans and Ottawa Valley legend, Bruce Wilson. Artistic Director of the Quinte Society for Chamber Music Sebastian promotes classical music culture across rural Ontario.

Sebastian Sallans, Violin

 Violinist Leslie Townsend  earned his B. Mus. Hons from Trinity Laban in the UK, M. Mus from the Vienna Privat Universität, and a Violin Certificate from St. Petersburg, 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. He began his training when he was 8, at 14 played as soloist in Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ and was described by Yehudi Menuhin as  ‘a player of passion and interest’. 


In search of his family and musical heritage Leslie studied in Russia, where his great grandmother had studied piano. Returning to England his string quartet won prizes at Trinity Laban and national competitions, then toured France and Switzerland. In Vienna he learned the precision and gracefulness of the Viennese style, before starting his professional performance career which includes  Music Theatre tours in Holland and Belgium, working for the BBC and a full teaching studio.  

 Leslie Townsend,  Violin

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.

Sarah de Niverville, Viola

Cellist Sebastian Ostertag was principal cellist of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra (2010-13) and has performed under the batons of Mario Bernardi, Johannes Debus, Leon Fleisher and Peter Oundjian and  as a soloist 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 include the Banff Centre Chamber Music Residency, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the Sweetwater Music Festival.


Sebastian 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.  Ostertag  also performs with many of Canada’s leading popular musicians. Recording credits include Basia Bulat’s Polaris Prize nominated records, the Ottawa Blues Festival, the Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts, and throughout Europe. Sebastian can also be heard on Shad K’s multiple Polaris Prize nominated albums, including the JUNO award winning record TSOL, and as a founding member of the Toronto based Interro Quartet. He is a co-founder of Orchestra North Smithers, Artistic Director of Orchestra North Owen Sound, and the former Director of the Prince George Youth Orchestra. He coaches 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.  

Sebastian Ostertag,  Cello