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 (principal 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 Toronto Philharmonic, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, 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 is also a long-time teacher at 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.