"Matthias Michael Beckmann's playing is both elegant and inspired; his tone is rich in subtly differentiated colours, his intonation flawless." Nürnberger Nachrichten
"The high notes, radiant yet mellow, that he coaxes from his fifth string are truly breathtaking..." Drehpunkt Kultur Salzburg
Matthias Michael Beckmann ranks as a pioneer of the cello: playing a unique 5-stringed cello with a descant E string and a range of five octaves, he is the first musician to perform the entire cello repertoire on a 5-stringed instrument made by Roger Graham Hargrave & Bertrand Bellin.
A native of Nuremberg, Matthias Michael Beckmann was eight years old when he received his first cello tuition from Claus Reichardt; aged ten, he was already a student at the Meistersinger Conservatorium. He later graduated from the Academy of Music in Munich, under Walter Nothas. Important musical influences came from master classes held by André Navarra, William Pleeth and Milos Sadlo, and from musicians including Irena Grafenauer, Jacqueline du Pré and Hannelore Leiffolts (Mozarteum, Salzburg).
He is a founder-member of the SALZBURG MOZART QUARTET, with which he has performed internationally since 1996. At home, the Quartet crowned the Salzburg Mozart-Haydn cycle (2000-2006) with an acclaimed performance of all 23 Mozart string quartets for the Mozart anniversary in 2006.
As a soloist, Matthias Michael Beckmann is best known for his rendering of works byVivaldi, Boccherini, Haydn, Beethoven, Dvořák and Gulda, and since 2007 also for premièring works for 5-stringed cello.
He has also been greatly influenced through regular collaboration with musicians such as Irena Grafenauer, Margit-Anna Süss, Ariane Haering, Pepe Romero, Radovan Vlatković, Michael Martin Kofler, Milan Turkovic, Sergio Azzolini, Benjamin Schmid and the Vienna Boys' Choir.
He teaches a class for 5-stringed cello and holds master classes at home and abroad.
Matthias Michael Beckmann also published the new edition of Leopold Mozart's Violinschule. Leopold Mozart's last authorised version (hitherto unavailable) appeared in 2007 in German and in 2008 in English. The preface to this edition, in modern print and musical notation, was written by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
His latest CD recordings of the six cello suites and the sonatas for viola da gamba by J. S. Bach have been acclaimed by critics and public alike.