Matthew Lin passes

Matthew Lin, an extremely talented young musician and one of the brightest lights of the contest fiddle world, died on December 11. He was 19 years of age.

He passed several days after suffering extreme complications from a lung surgery to remove a large number of blood clots on December 4. Doctors believe he suffered an ischemic stroke during surgery which led to massive swelling on his brain.

Matthew was one of four brothers living in Lexington, KY. All four boys studied violin and fiddle. Prior to his surgery, he was enrolled in the University of Kentucky studying both Chemical Engineering and Violin Performance.

Since he was a young teen, Lin had been competing in fiddle contests, and had made dozens of friends among his fellow competitors, as well as accompanists and judges. He had been named the Youth Champion fiddler at the 2014 Grand Master Fiddle Championship in Nashville, along with a number of other state and regional titles.

In the violin world, he played in high school with the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and the Kentucky All State Symphony Orchestra. At the time of his passing, Matthew was a violinist in the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his music, Matthew was dedicated to Scouting, earning the rank of Eagle Scout in 2018.

He is remembered by family and friends not only for his many achievements, but as a kind and inspirational soul who lit up any room he entered with his quick wit and engaging smile. His is a great loss to Lexington, his family, his church, and to the close knit community of competition fiddlers.

The Grand Master Fiddle Championship has launched a scholarship in his name. The Matthew Thomas Lin Memorial Scholarship will be given each year to assist a young musician with music education costs. The first scholarship will be awarded at the 2021 Grand Master Championship. Donations can be made online in support.

Here is video of his winning performance at the 2014 Grand Masters.

Services will be held on Friday, December 18 at Tates Creek Christian Church in Lexington at 1:00 p.m. (EST). For those unable to attend, the funeral will be live-streamed online. The family will welcome visitors Thursday evening from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at the church, and on Friday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the Lin family has requested donations to the The Matthew Thomas Lin Memorial Scholarship.

R.I.P., Matthew Lin.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.