The Shirtless Violinist
This week's spotlight is on successful Youtuber and musician Matthew Olshefski - also known as the "Shirtless Violinist." He's making classical music sexy, and we tuned in to find out how.
Please tell us anything you would like to about yourself.
Hi! My name is Matthew Olshefski, and I am a classical trained violinist living in the Pacific Northwest! I teach the violin as a full-time job, but also enjoy part-time gigs, recording soundtracks and joining musicians on tour. Last year, I had the great honor of performing with Andrea Bocelli!
How long have you been playing the violin, and what made you want to pick it up?
As the story goes, I saw a violinist on TV at the age of 3 and liked it so much that my parents inquired about lessons. That's how they discovered the Suzuki method, and I began my journey with strings. I don't remember a time without the violin in my life, and I have never taken a break from it since that time.
What is your favorite piece?
That’s easy -- Beethoven’s Violin Concerto! I mean, seriously -- what can melt your heart more than the second movement?
What does music mean to you?
I feel like music has the ability to go beyond words and tap directly with our emotional core. That’s why we’ll sometimes listen to a song on repeat — it connects directly to our emotions and bypasses language and critical thinking. I’ve always had the most sublime, beautiful experiences through music.
What or who has been your greatest influence?
Itzhak Perlman! He’s got a vibrato to die for. In fact, I’ve asked him to leave it to me when he dies!
What gave you the idea of the 'Shirtless Violinist'?
I wanted to find a way to make classical music sexy! Besides being a classical violinist, I am also a former fitness instructor and self-described health-nut! So, naturally, it occurred to me that I might try combining my two passions, and that's essentially how the idea was born.
And since everyone is probably wondering, how do you stay in such amazing shape?
This is such a popular question among my fans that I decided to start a series on my channel called 'The Shirtless Trainer' where I demonstrate my daily workout routines. So far, I have posted 3 of the 6 weekly workouts. I always remember to take off one day a week!