Violinist arrested for playing Bach on subway

30 July 2013, 10:25 | Updated: 30 September 2014, 14:37

A New York Violinist is spreading the message that performing is legal in the Subway, after he was arrested on Thursday.

A violinist spent four hours in custody in New York after being arrested for performing a piece of Bach on the Subway. Matthew Christian, an English teacher, is now fronting a campaign to spread the word that music is legal - and has printed 150 branded T-shirts to get the message out there.

Performing on the platform of 68th Street station, Matthew noticed a police officer watching him. After shining his torch at Matthew, he said "Not today!" and asked him to leave.

"Well, it just so happens that I believe that music’s legal," Matthew said. "So I hollered back: “Yes! Today!” Then I launched Gigue from the third Bach partita, and the officer set off for the stairs to reach my platform."

Music is allowed on the Subway in New York, providing it doesn't impede the transport system. Performers do not need a permit if they are not using amplification.

Matthew was also arrested in 2011 for performing on the subway, but sued the NYPD and the charges were dropped. He has been asked to leave on multiple occasions.