The Road to Here


Greg (b.1952, Toronto) has been making instruments since 1979. After receiving a BSC in Biology at the University of Guelph, Ontario, he attended the Welsh School of Violin Making and Repair. Following 7 years of study and work in Wales and Germany (his last position was with Hieronymus Koestler in Stuttgart), he returned to Canada. In 1988 he established a studio with Sibylle Ruppert in Paisley Ontario. He has worked as a freelance restorer for various shops in North America, including Peter and Wendy Moes; throughout this time he continued making violins, violas and cellos. Today he dedicates his time solely to making instruments.

Sybille Rupert and Greg Walke

After starting on this path of violin making, it became apparent to Greg that he needed seclusion and tranquility to concentrate on instrument making without the constant attention required to operate a city shop. Thus, he and his wife and fellow violin maker Sibylle Ruppert, decided to live away from the city and establish a home and studio in Paisley, Ontario. It was also a wonderful environment in which their children could grow up, with a closer connection to a more diverse natural setting.

Greg has had the good fortune to collaborate on projects with musicians such as Yosuke Kawasaki, David Hetherington and Gerald Stanick; they and others such as Mark Fewer, Lance Elbeck, Yehonatan Berick, Steven Dann, Joe Johnson, Roman Borys ,Tom Wiebe… have been very helpful in giving him feedback and advice when he showed them his work; for this Greg is very grateful.

He appreciates also the support and interest of shops in Canada and the USA. Greg is well connected with many violin makers/friends with whom much information and experience is shared (at events like Sweetwater Music Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario and Makers Forum in Montreal). The Oberlin Acoustics workshop and publications of the Violin Society of America have been invaluable in his development.

The experience and training in restoration that he gained working in Hieronymus Köstler’s workshop and doing projects for Peter and Wendy Moes, enables him to give continued care for the instruments he makes.

Greg rowing the boat he finished building in 2009


Greg’s preferred working situation is direct communication with a musician; he can then make every effort to satisfy their needs and wishes in creating their instrument. This makes a project very meaningful for the musician as well as for Greg. If it is difficult for musicians to reach the studio, Greg makes trips when necessary and possible to where musicians live.