The 5string Cello

“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…”

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A pioneering spirit on the 5string cello

Matthias Michael Beckmann plays on a unique 5-string cello. He is the first cellist to perform the entire cello literature on a 5-string cello.

The 5th string creates new dimensions of sound from the cello and infinitely enhances its timbre. The E string gives the cello a sound which is very warm and rich in overtones and carries very well in a concert hall.

Here he talks about his experiences with his special instrument.


… the 5th String 

One morning I awoke dreaming of a 5-stringed cello. At that time I was playing J.S. Bach’s Solo Suites very intensively.

I contacted my master violinmaker Roger Hargrave and asked him whether he was interested in collaborating with me to develop and build this instrument; he was very keen to do this. I would not exchange it for a Stradivarius unless it had a 5th string.

Would you like to learn how to play the 5 – string Cello ? Please contact me.

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The Salzburg Mozart Quartet

Matthias Michael Beckmann is a founder-member of the Salzburg Mozart Quartet, with which he has performed internationally since 1996.

The ensemble gives regular, well-attended guest performances at major festivals and performs widely in Europe and abroad.

Numerous CD recordings for Mozartiana Classics document the Quartet’s successful career.


#The 5 string Cello

As a soloist, Matthias Michael Beckmann is best known for his rendering of works by Vivaldi, Boccherini, Haydn, Beethoven, Dvořák and Gulda, and since 2007 also for premièring works for 5-stringed cello.
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. CD recordings for Mozartiana Classics document the Quartet’s successful career.

He has also been greatly influenced through regular collaboration with musicians such as Irena Grafenauer, Julia Arsentjeva, Pepe Romero, Radovan Vlatković, Michael Martin Kofler, Milan Turkovic, Sergio Azzolini, Benjamin Schmid and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. 

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).

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"Arpeggione - Schubert & Schumann"

The 5-string cello is more than simply the trade-mark of Matthias Michael Beckmann; it is his artistic credo and his message. Even in familiar pieces it opens up new sound spaces. Franz Schubert’s Sonata for Arpeggione embraces whole worlds of emotion; Robert Schumann’s pieces are filled with the most profound poetry.
Here Beckmann and distinguished pianist Elena Braslavsky form an exquisite partnership. Classical form combined with sensitive Romanticism and  sublime melody – this is great, timeless music, in all its energy and humanity.  Gottfried Franz Kasparek


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