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Musique Royale: Aurore String Quartet in Johnstown

15338 Highway 4

902 703 0739

From August 16 – 21 2022, the Aurore String Quartet will perform six concerts across Nova Scotia part of Musique Royale’s 37th Summer Festival taking place in historic venues in Lunenburg, Brooklyn, Yarmouth, Port Williams, Johnstown, and Truro. The quartet features violinists Jeanne-Sophie Baron and Daniel Dastoor, along with violist Ryan Davis and cellist David Liam Roberts.  The ensemble will perform one string quartet by Mozart and another by Haydn, highlighting the two prolific composers in Vienna who had a special friendship that was based on mutual admiration, and untainted by envy.  

These musicians were selected out of many applicants to participate in the prestigious Equilibrium Young Artist program led by soprano Barbara Hannigan, taking place at the Lunenburg Academy of Music and Performance during the week leading up to this Musique Royale concert tour, which will finish with a Gala Concert on August 13 with the famed soprano and conductor. The quartet is made up of four of Canada’s most brilliant emerging artists at the beginning of their extraordinary careers.  Musique Royale is delighted to showcase their talents across the province as part of its 37th Summer Festival.

About the music 

The first quartet we will hear is Haydn’s “Sunrise” Quartet No. 63 in B flat major, Op. 76, No. 4, which was named this way thanks to the rising theme over sustained chords that begins the quartet. This quartet is part of a set of six, written in 1796 after Haydn returned to Vienna from the second of his highly successful London visits. Haydn was now considered the greatest living composer in the Western world, and while he always composed with confidence, his realization of that fact might have guided the bold and brilliant tone that exudes from the work. 

The quartet will also perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Dissonance” String Quartet No. 19 in C Major, K. 465, which is nicknamed this way on account of its unusually slow introduction.  It is the last in the set of six quartets that Mozart dedicated to Joseph Haydn, and is perhaps the most famous of his quartets. 

Mozart and Haydn admired each other and the two men quickly developed a deep friendship after meeting first in 1783.  Through the 1780s in Vienna, the two composers played together in impromptu quartets, with Haydn on violin and Mozart playing viola. Two years after their first meeting, in 1785, Mozart dedicated his six “Haydn quartets” to his older friend. Usually, compositions would have been dedicated to a wealthy patron or sponsor of the work, so Mozart’s dedication here is a sign of the affection and high regard he held for his friend and mentor. 

In his dedication, Mozart describes sending his “six sons” (six quartets) to his “best friend” (Haydn), and goes on to say “Your good opinion encourages me to offer these string quartets to you, and leads me to hope that you will not consider them wholly unworthy of your favor.  Please, then, receive them kindly and be to them a father, guide, and friend!”

About the artists (read artist biographies at

Clip of Jeanne-Sophie Baron

Clip of Daniel Dastoor

Clip of Ryan Davis

Clip of David Liam Roberts


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