The Sound Post was founded in 1983 by the Grieve family of Oakville, Ontario. A Toronto retail presence was established in 1990. The current store, workshop, and warehouse, located in central Toronto near the University of Toronto music department and the Royal Conservatory of Music was opened in 1995. The company has grown from a small family enterprise to the largest specialized violin business in Canada with a staff of 20.
Supporters of the String Playing Tradition
The company has a long tradition of supporting string education and educators. The Sound Post was the first firm in Toronto to understand that "student" instruments must be setup to the same high standards as instruments played by more advanced players. The company made it a priority to use high quality strings and materials in its instrument preparation process, even for less expensive instruments. Hence beginners could get the best possible start to their musical experience.
The company has always welcomed young players, beginners of all ages and families. We also give annual scholarships to a variety of musical institutions in the Toronto vicinity.
Complete Service for Musicians, Teachers and Dealers
Early on, it became apparent that The Sound Post could provide a comprehensive service to all players in the string business. The firm was active as Canadian importer of instruments, accessories, strings, bows, cases, parts, books and music. Coupled with repair and restoration activities, this meant that we could look after a string player's every need (short of massage therapy!) It also meant that the company was a natural supplier to other luthiers and dealers who had need of the products that we were importing.
Antiquarians, Restorers, and Makers
Two themes dominate the company's activities in the field of antique instruments: a dedication to excellence, and a constant quest to provide fairness and value to their clients. The Sound Post is the most active Canadian participant in the international violin marketplace, buying extensively wherever instruments of quality can be obtained at a reasonable price. The company has always believed they could provide authentic instruments of character and quality at fair, affordable prices. Old instruments purchased at The Sound Post are restored thoroughly and with integrity in their Toronto workshops prior to being offered for sale.
The company also enthusiastically supports the living craft of violin and bow making by commissioning and selling instruments and bows made by members of staff and by friends and colleagues.
Furthermore, The Sound Post has pioneered, assisted and financed the establishment of a series of workshops on violin and bow restoration led by Horacio Piñeiro and William Salchow (leading experts in their respective fields).
Pioneering Delivery Service to Canada and Abroad
In the 1990s The Sound Post established itself as the primary mail order supplier of stringed instrument supplies in Canada. Given Canada's vast size and the widely spread population, including many smaller relatively isolated communities (compared to Europe or the USA), many without violin shops, mail order service is a natural fit for Canada.
With the rise of the internet, the company has moved to online sales in order to make its unique collection of products and services more readily accessible to musicians outside of Toronto. The company is the world's first to introduce a truly international website, with multiple languages and multi-currency payment processing, giving clients the opportunity to shop and purchase violin products in their home currency.