For over 30 years, David Prentice has built violins and violas for a number of prominent artists in both the orchestral and chamber music worlds, in addition to instrument bank commissions by the Banff Centre, Stanford University, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Today, Prentice instruments can be seen in the hands of members of the Bozzini, Annex, and Tokai String Quartet’s, in addition to some of the world’s great orchestras such as the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and the City of Birmingham Symphony, to name a few.

Born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario in 1947, David Prentice became interested and played various fretted stringed instruments through his high school years. After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in mathematics, Mr. Prentice became interested in the violin and began taking lessons in Toronto. Inspired by the work of Otto Erdesz and his students Joseph Curtin and John Newton, Mr. Prentice began violin making in 1981. Shortly after he setup his own shop and began learning a craft that has surpassed 30 years. By 1988 Prentice had left his job as a mathematics teacher and made violins and violas on a full time basis. His shop, which is situated in a historic building in the town of Flesherton, ON, has paved the way to a growing number of artists and luthiers that have moved into the region.

David Prentice is a member of the Violin Society of America and the Catgut Acoustical Society where he’s involved in the study of instrument acoustics. To date, many of his instruments are played throughout North and South America, and Europe by professionals and students alike.


Now is a good time to be a violin maker. Now is also a good time to buy a modern instrument. The enormous leap in price of antique instruments of good quality has opened the door to a new generation of instrument makers and given them a reasonable expectation of making a living. As a result the standard of instruments being produced today is very high. A recent survey of the profession indicates that “eighty percent of dealers and restorers agree that the best instruments made today are equal in sound to the best ever made.” As a violinmaker, David Prentice is dedicated to making instruments that will produce the kind of sound demanded by the professional string player. Prentice likes to work directly with the player to arrive at a instrument and sound that will satisfy the client. This relationship between maker and player is one that is beneficial to both. Prentice’s reputation and living depend on his instruments sounding optimal and to this end he addresses any concerns a player may have. The player can take comfort in knowing that the instrument can by cared for and adjusted by the person who made it.