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Sound Thinking

Sam Sniderman's gift will preserve music for future generations

Sam Sniderman is a Toronto business legend known for his Sam the Record Man store – a mecca for music buffs since the 1930s.

Less well known is that Sniderman is also one of the leading benefactors of U of T’s Faculty of Music library, which boasts a large collection of musical scores, books, recordings and DVDs.

Over the course of more than four decades, Sniderman has given the library thousands of recordings – mostly classical – on vinyl and CD. Recently, he established a $50,000 endowment to support the expansion of the Sniderman Music Archives, named in honour of his son Stephen, who died in a boating accident in 1959.

“Sam’s lifelong involvement in the music industry has led to a fierce commitment to the study and preservation of music,” says Faculty of Music dean Gage Averill. “This endowment, along with his previous gifts, will provide unprecedented resources for generations of musicians and scholars.”

Sniderman is tickled that his family name will continue to be part of the faculty. “I was born and raised in Toronto and I feel I owe this to the country,” he says. “I’m getting old and I want to make sure the library keeps going. When I die I don’t know whether I’ll be going up or down, but I’ll be looking at the faculty to keep an eye on what’s happening.”

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