Violin Shop Tampa & Sarasota

"All things for classical strings"

Meet our Specialists

Natalie Schulthess

Natalie is a master cellist who has been playing for 20 years, as well as teaching private lessons for 10 years. We are excited to have Natalie’s expertise and her cheerful personality on our team full-time! Natalie received both her Master’s of Music and Bachelor’s of Music in cello performance from University of South Florida. While at USF, she was a Teaching Assistant allowing her the opportunity to study with Scott Kluksdahl and Helga Winold. She is also a registered Suzuki Teacher and is in high demand in the community, both as a teacher and performer. Natalie offers private cello lessons for beginners to advanced/college prep players, ranging from age 6 to adulthood. Her students have historically placed in all-county and all-state orchestras, and are members of the Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. She also enjoys playing at local venues in a duo, The End of Daisies, with her bandmate, Scott Miller, who is a guitarist/singer/songwriter. Natalie provides our customers with exceptional service, as her background allows her to provide individualized feedback tailored to the player’s needs, level of experience, and age. Natalie is also our School Liaison and handles school orders, outreach, and teacher inquiries, as well as other retail duties around the shop!

Taylor Brinkman

Taylor has been a violinist for the past nine years, and we are excited for her to be part of our team! She is a 2016 graduate from University of Central Florida, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in history. She previously attended Bloomingdale High School where she also participated in All County Orchestra for three years. She is originally a Midwestern girl, but has been a Floridian now for over a decade. She enjoys playing classical and pop music on her violin, and has a special interest in Phantom of the Opera. Taylor provides great customer service to our valued customers, and her skillset on violin allows her to relate to our players and their needs. She also assists with many other retail duties around the shop!

Francesco Muci

Francesco is a professional luthier with 18 years of experience, and we are excited to have him and his diverse experience on our team! He is originally from Morlupo, Italy, a small town just north of Rome. Francesco graduated from the International Luthier School of Cremona’s three year violin and bow making program in 2001. The prestigious program has also adopted the name, International Professional Institute of Violin Making and Woodcraft, and it has been in operation in Cremona, Italy, since 1938. For over four years, Francesco worked aside Sergio Gregorat, a famous Italian bass luthier, just outside of Rome, Italy where he strengthened his skillset. He also operated his own violin workshop in Italy for over a decade, where he built and restored stringed instruments, and offered repair work on both acoustic and electric instruments. His specialties include repair and restoration on upright bass as well as arch top guitars, although his broad skillset allows him to work on all instruments in the shop.

Tim Roy

Tim is a Floridian native and has been playing upright bass for the past four years. We are excited to have him on our team as an apprentice, where he is being trained as a luthier by shop owners, Dereck and Ethan, and also learning from our fellow professionals. Tim is currently a USF student in the jazz studies program, and is also a 2013 graduate from Brevard Community College in Melbourne, where he obtained his Associate of Arts degree. He previously played guitar for four years, and had the opportunity to study jazz guitar and music theory under Michael Leasure, a guitarist/composer who specializes in jazz, classical, and acoustic guitars and original compositions. Tim is currently staying busy in our workshop, primarily doing repair work, set ups, and adjustments on violins and violas.

Janae Earl

Janae has been a violist for the past 10 years and we are excited to have her on our team! She is currently a high school student and plans to go to college for viola performance. In addition to taking private lessons, Janae also plays in her school orchestra, and serves as their Treasurer. She plays a vital role in her orchestra as she also helps with organizing trips and/or events. Janae has also participated in All-County for the past 5 years, as well as summer orchestra camp for the past 3 years. She favors the viola due to it’s rich tone compared to the violin. Janae plays a diverse role for Violin Shop Tampa, as she not only provides great service to our valued customers, but also assists with various other shop duties to help us run smoothly. As the only violist on staff, she is excited to work with our customers to ensure their needs are being met! Janae also manages all of the shop’s social media sites, and is excited to keep our online community up to date on shop sales, new products, events, and projects taking place in our workshop!

Michael Olivola

Michael is an expert luthier with over 30 years of experience, and we are excited to such a dynamic player on our team on a seasonal basis! He began his skills in the violin making program at the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City, where he also had the opportunity to work aside the program’s former owner, Peter Prier, in his retail violin shop. Over the years, Michael has worked for several stringed instrument shops across the country such as Cremona Musical Instruments in San Francisco, Ideal Music in NYC, Meizel Music in New Jersey, and Robertson’s Violins in Salt Lake. He also owned and operated a retail violin shop for 12 years in the San Francisco Bay area with professional bass luthier, Hannah Mayne. Michael specializes in bass luthier work, although his marked skills allow him to work on all stringed instruments. He is also a professional bass player with nearly 50 years experience, and primarily enjoys playing jazz. Michael has had a variety of bass performance experiences, including touring Broadway in NYC!