Raised in Owen Sound, Ontario, cellist Sebastian Ostertag combines rich musical traditions, and with a strong commitment to community service and artistic outreach. 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.
A passionate chamber musician, Sebastian performs throughout Ontario, Quebec and the American Midwest as a founding member of the Toronto based Interro Quartet. As an Orchestra musician, he has performed under such esteemed conductors as Mario Bernardi, Johannes Debus, Leon Fleisher and Peter Oundjian. Sebastian has performed 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. Further performances have included the Banff Centre, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Luminato Festival, Nuit Blanche Toronto, Symphony in the Barn, and 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, performing 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. He has also performed with vocalist Coco Love Alcorn and the Electro Acoustic group Joyful Joyful.
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. In addition, he is Artistic Director of Orchestra North Owen Sound and the former Director of the Prince George Youth Orchestra. A highly sought-after clinician, he has adjudicated music festivals in British Columbia, and given regular master classes at the University of Toronto. He has also coached regularly at the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Kingsway Conservatory, the University of Toronto Chamber Orchestra, 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.