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INTERVIEW: The Shirtless Violinist

Shirtless Violinist

The Shirtless Violinist is a gay musician who came to our attention with his beautiful, gay video for Beauty and the Beast last week:

He found us after we posted the video, and offered to do an interview, So here we go!

QSF: So who and what is the Shirtless Violinist? Photos?

Shirtless ViolinistThe Shirtless Violinist: Great question! That’s me, Matthew, a classically trained violinist from Seattle. I have been playing the violin since the age of 3, and it’s my greatest passion. I am also a former fitness instructor and avid gym-bunny – so, naturally, it occurred to me that I might try combining my two favorite things: Music and Muscles.

To my knowledge, no one has tried to do this before! The classical music world is very “stuffy” and the fitness world gravitates toward high-energy dance music. So it’s really no wonder that these two “worlds” seldom overlap – but it has become my personal mission to change that.

I am on a quest to make classical music sexy!

QSF: Mission Accomplished. LOL… So what kind of training do you have?

TSV: As I mentioned, I’ve been playing the violin since the age of 3. I was taught using the Suzuki method, which begins early in life and is designed to develop a “musical ear.” I started with 30 minute lessons, and eventually practiced up to 6 hours a day! I have never stopped playing the violin, and now I teach the Suzuki method to students from the age of 3+.

QSF: So a teacher and a scholar! You seem to have an affinity for sci fi and fantasy themes – where did that come from? It’s something near and dear to our own audience’s heart.

Shirtless ViolinistTSV: I love sci-fi and fantasy! One of my earliest memories (besides playing violin) was having JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit read to me as a child. I absolutely fell in love with the fantasy world, and could not get enough of Middle-earth. Like many other kids, I also grew up with a love of the Star Wars movies. For me, this is the perfect melding of sci-fi and fantasy…not to mention the amazing score!!

QSF: I read the whole trilogy when I was still in elementary school. Are you a big reader? If so, what are your favorite genres?

TSV: I love to read! Like I said, The Hobbit was my first foray into the world of books, and I obviously didn’t stop there. I devoured fantasy books like CS Lewis’s Space Trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia. I also took a special interest in the life and letters of JRR Tolkien, reading anything and everything associated with the author.

QSF: I tried the Silmarillion once. *grin* Writers are often inspired by great music. Does it go the other way, too?

TSV: What a great observation – and, yes, it does! Oftentimes a great piece of literature can be so captivating and so immersive, I am tervewspired to play a piece of music on my violin. Not to belabor my love of Lord of the Rings, but the last time I read the books I listened to the movie score simultaneously. Many of the chapters correspond with Howard Shore’s track listing – it’s brilliant! Needless to say, that experience has caused me to stop reading, put down my book, and pick up my violin for a while. I believe there is a strong connection between literature, great stories, and beautiful musical compositions.

QSF: I may have to pick up some of your work to get inspired. :) Hey, you apparently have something in the works having to do with Star Wars – want to tell us more about it?

TSV: Sure! After the positive response I got from timing my “Beauty and the Beast” music video with the live action film (another great work of fantasy, might I add!), I knew I wanted to do something similar with the released of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in December. I am still in the very early planning stages, but I definitely see lightsabers in my near future! My boyfriend appeared as “Belle” in my last video and I just might be able to convince him to play yet another iconic princess in my Star Wars tribute!

QSF: Ooh, he’s the boyfriend? He’s adorable. So what else are you working on that we should know about?

TSV: I am definitely working on a Game of Thrones music video ahead of the 7th season premier this July! I am excited about that one because I think the music is great. I also have early plans to pay tribute to the Netflix series “Stranger Things” as well as the upcoming Pixar fantasy “Coco” (coming in November) … but like I said, nothing is confirmed, so you are the first to know!

Shirtless Violinist

QSF: LOL I feel so honored. :P Where can we buy your stuff?

TSV: My violin covers are available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and pretty much every other digital music platform! I also sell #ShirtlessViolinist t-shirts on my website (shirtlessviolinist.com) in order to raise money for the True Colors Fund; a charity that helps homeless LGBTQ youth.

That’s great! Thanks so much for finding us and for the great interview!

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