Todd Matus is the former President and master maker of Consort International, (Indianapolis, Indiana, 1988-2018) the makers of Sofia Violins fine violins violas and cellos. Matus also makes his own personal instruments (43 violins, 2 violas and 7 cellos). After the owners of Consort closed the company in 2017, Todd has continued the production of Sofia violins, violas, and cellos on his own.
Todd gained all of his experience in the shop, starting in 1988. He has had the good luck to work intensively with several excellent and highly schooled makers: Alexander Leyvand in Indianapolis, Peter Tsetanov in Bulgaria, and Bruno Stefanini in Italy.
Matus has been making his own instruments (43 violins, 2 violas and 7 cellos to date) since 1996, using his experience producing several thousand fine production instruments. Todd has heard the results of many design and wood variations, building a deep understanding of how to consistently create open, even, loud, and sonorous instruments. Todd makes violins based on several patterns, including, the Joachim Strad, the Titian Strad, Guadagnini, Pollastri, and Guarneri del Gesu.
Todd is expert in all aspects of violin making, in particular wood selection, graduation, neck setting, bass bar installation, varnishing and setup of violins, violas and cellos. He is also very skilled in retouching, and repair. Used to the production world where speed matters, Todd is exceptional at working efficiently while achieving the perfection that is standard in fine instruments.
Todd is a serious student and researcher in the physics of the violin, having studied at the VSA Acoustics workshop from 2006-2015. His papers Experiments with Physical-Etch Treatment of Spruce Violin Tops and What I Learned in the Production Violin Business were published in the VSA Papers, 2010 and the VSA Journal, 2014 respectively.
Todd is also a noted Photographer and writer. He was twice nominated for the National Award in the Visual Arts, and has had numerous exhibitions of his work. His exhibition Broken Views at the University of Delaware, and the book Broken Views; a document of Eastern Europe, 1989-1997 contains photographs and stories of Eastern Europe from the Communist period through the development of nascent democracies, all while developing the violin atelier in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Todd Matus is alumnus of the University of Michigan, 1981. He received his MFA in Photography in 1985 at Southern Illinois University. He has twice been nominated for the National Award in the Visual Arts. Todd taught photography at the Herron School of Art from 1985-1988. Todd has had numerous exhibitions including solo and two person shows at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the University of Delaware, the Atlanta City Gallery, The Ohio State University and at 431 Gallery, In Vivo Gallery, Utrillo's Gallery and the Indianapolis Art League. His book, Broken Views: a document of Eastern Europe, was published by the University of Delaware Gallery in 1997. Other publications include Carbon Printing, 1983 which describes the then lost photo process, and the making of carbon tissue and carbon prints. Todd has demonstrated the process at the 1983 Society for Photographic Education national convention, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the Winterthur Conservation Program in 1999. He taught the Carbon Process at Southern Illinois University, 1984-85. His most recent book is Scenes from a Novel, 2019, an illustrated memoir. From 2012 to 2019 Todd operated Litmus Gallery at the Circle City Industrial Center, South Studios, in Indianapolis, showing his own works and that of other select artists. The second attachment contains an article by Mark Ruschman, Chief Curator at the Indian State Museum, and a review by Dan Grossman from NUVO magazine.
Relevant Publications by Todd Matus:
Broken Views; a document of Eastern Europe, 1989-1997
Experiments with Physical-Etch Treatment of Spruce Violin Tops. VSA Papers 2010
What I Learned in the Production Violin Business, VSA Journal, 2014