FRDERICK W. OSTER FINE VIOLINS Specialises in instruments of the violin family. The shop carries a large inventory of fine violins, violas, celli and bows. In addition, we carry accessories ranging from strings to cases. Appointments to try instruments in the violin family should be scheduled in advance, so please call before you arrive (215)-545-1100.


The workshop of Frederick W. Oster Fine Violins hosts a group of extremely talented luthiers and is a center for fine instruments and craftsmanship. Restorers working in our workshop include:

SAM PAYTON Sam brings a diverse background in the arts to his work as a violin maker and restorer. He also trained with Chris Germaine in Philadelphia and enjoys creating his own violin models based on elements of well proven models.

STEPHEN SALCHOW, is the resident Maestro of bowmaking in the shop. Stephen trained with the eminent William Salchow, and developed his skills in bowmaking and restoration through many years experience in the Salchow workshop in New York City. Stephen is also a violist, having trained at the Mannes College of Music with Maureen Gallagher, Rosemary Glyde, and Steven Tenenbom. He served as principal violist of the Riverside Orchestra for six years and has played viola with the Musica Bella Orchestra.

RAFFAELLO STEFANINI Rafe trained as a violin maker in his hometown of Bologna, Italy in the well noted school begun there by Otello Bignami, and he continues to make violins both here and in Italy. Rafe is also a champion old time fiddler with an extensive discography.

JOHN THORELL Combines a background as a musician with his work as a violin maker and restorer. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music as a cellist from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. John completed the North Bennett Street School program in violin making. He has previously worked with Kevin Kelly in Boston and Rob Gordon in Belsano, Pennsylvania. John especially enjoys making Baroque and modern instruments, as well as historical bows.