Cultivating Creativity: Sebastian Sallans brings classical to the country

“My goal is to create something of note that contributes to the cannon of learning that is classical music.”

By Jeanette Arsenault

Sebastian Sallans, violinist as well as Artistic Director of The Quinte Society for Chamber Music, has a lofty goal to make classical music accessible to all; especially in rural areas.

Born in Madoc, and whose grandparents live in Prince Edward County, Sallans is well-known in the Quinte area not only as a violinist of great skill, but also as a versatile multi-genre musician who plays with great sensitivity and beauty.

At the age of 17, he was part of a series called You Should Hear Them Now held at the Bloomfield United Church, hosted by AOTS (As One That Serves) where he wowed audiences with his tremendous skill, versatility (classical and modern) along with his wonderful stage presence.

His long list of accomplishments are remarkable in the short period of time since he graduated in 2014 from the University of Toronto with a B.Mus.Performance Violin degree.

Sallans has performed with many orchestras throughout Ontario and Quebec including symphonies from Sudbury, North Bay (principle 2nd/Guest Associate Concertmaster) Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Assistant Concert Master/Soloist) and Niagara. His love of music by contemporary composers is reflected in his repertoire which includes Ontario’s Patricia Moorehead, Andy Slade and Quebec’s Jacques Marchand. But lovers of the traditional and classical violinists are never disappointed because he also includes well-loved pieces.

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 remembers fondly how he acquired his latest violin, a Vanna So.  One of his professors suggested they visit a friend of his who had a whole array of instruments which he was allowed to try out.  He played through his repertoire and finally narrowed it down to two violins.  He was encouraged to try out both at his upcoming concert and by the end of the show, he knew which one he wanted to buy.

When asked which violin he would love to have if he had unlimited funds, he mentions Guadanini, Guarneri, Amati, Gagliano, Stratavari among some of the greats.  At a cost of usually over $1M each, he certainly has exceptional taste. His key advice to young musicians – learn how to practice, focus/correct as you go for hours on end.  And learn how to listen not only while you play,but listen to other musicians, too.

He dreams of building up his string quartet and to be the best possible musician he can be.  With a huge fan club, he certainly is well on his way.

Find him on Facebook and go out to support live music because #livemusicmatters.