Matteo Goffriller

Matteo Goffriller (1659 – 1742) was an Italian luthier, particularly noted for the quality of his cellos.

Although it is known that Goffriller was born in Brixen, little else is known of him prior to his days in Venice before 1685. He is thought to have been active between 1689-1740, and is the founder of the "Venetian School" of luthiers, during the time when Venice was one of the most important centers of musical activity in the world.

In the past, Goffriller's celli had been erroneously attributed to the Guarneri family, Carlo Bergonzi, and even Antonio Stradivari, and was virtually unknown until the 1920s when his instruments began to be discovered. His cello of 1733 once owned by Pablo Casals was originally attributed to Bergonzi. His earliest identified is a viola de gamba dated to 1689.

Goffriller was married in 1686 to Maddalena Maria Caiser at the Madonna delle Grazie in Venice, and together had twelve children including five boys and seven girls in the span of 26 years. Francesco Goffriller, long thought to be his brother, may according to recent research, actually be his son. Goffriller died in Venice in 1742.

Goffriller labels

The standard label for a Gofriller instrument, whether genuine or forged, uses the Latin inscription Mattheus Goffriller Fece in Venezia Anno [date]. This inscription displays the maker, the town (Venice), and "made in the year", followed by a date that is either printed or handwritten. In reality he labeled only a small percentage of his instruments compared to the ones he actually constructed. This was in order to evade paying his taxes in Venice.


Pablo Casals had a Goffriller which was his main concert instrument for most of his professional life. It was acquired by Casals in 1913 and used until his death in 1973. Since 2000, the use of this instrument has been awarded to the winner of the quadrennial International Pablo Casals Cello Competition in Germany.

Other notable musicians:

Goffriller instruments


Sobriquet Year Provenance Notes
Goffriller violin 1695 currently played by Andrej Power
Sammons 1696 Kenneth Sillito
Goffriller violin ca. 1700 Stradivari Society currently played by Michala Høj
ex-Sivori; ex-Lalo 1700
Goffriller violin 1700 played on by Claire Givens
Goffriller violin 1702 played by Jaakko Kuusisto
Goffriller violin 1708 played by Jennifer Pike
Goffriller violin ca. 1720 Alan Parmenter purchased in 2008 by an anonymous benefactor
Goffriller violin 1722 stolen from violinist Charmian Gadd in 1999
Goffriller Violin 1730 the Counts of Colloredo Castle, Friuli


Sobriquet Year Provenance Notes
Goffriller viola ca. 1720
ex-Walter Trampler 1727 measures 41 cm


Sobriquet Year Provenance Notes
Goffriller cello 1690 previously Sabatier, Axelrod, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra labeled: Nicolas Amatus, previously played by Maria Kliegel
Goffriller cello ca. 1700 Antonio Meneses
ex-Leonard Rose; ex-Alfredo Piatti 1693 on loan to Leonard Elschenbroich
Goffriller cello 1693 Mischa Schneider features a carved Rosette on the top, under the fingerboard; currently played by Zuill Bailey
Goffriller cello 1695 played by Anner Bylsma
Count Marcello 1697 Nicholas Anderson; Count Girolamo Marcello; Aldo Pais of Venice; Irving Klein
Rosette 1698 Leslie Parnas features a carved rosette decoration
Goffriller cello 1698 played by Andres Diaz
Goffriller cello 1698 exhibited at the Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
D'Archambeau ca. 1700 Iwan D'Archambeau played by Jonathan Miller of the Gramercy Trio, Boston Artists Ensemble, and Boston Symphony Orchestra
Goffriller cello 1700 played by Jorg Baumann of the Berlin Philharmonic
Goffriller cello 1701 played by Gautier Capuçon
Goffriller cello 1703 Karl Fruh; Raya Garbousova (1930-1951)
The Star 1705 Janos Starker (1965)
ex-Warburg 1706 played by Daniel Gaisford
Goffriller cello 1707 played by Eric Kim
Goffriller cello 1708 Istituto della Pietà, Venice
Goffriller cello 1710 played by Matt Haimovitz
Goffriller cello 1711 played by Marc Coppey
Goffriller cello 1712 Venice Research, has this uncut cello.
Goffriller cello 1715 Samsung Foundation of Culture
Goffriller cello 1715 Stradivari Society played by Sant'Ambrogio
Goffriller cello 1720 Emanuel Feuermann played by Joseph Schuster
Goffriller cello 1720 played by Moray Welsh
Goffriller cello 1722 Yo-Yo Ma
Goffriller cello 1722 played by Pierre Fournier
ex-Cossmann 1726 played by Carl Fuchs, Jenska Slebos; once thought to be a Bergonzi.
Saphir; ex-Harvey Shapiro 1727 currently played by Daniel Müller-Schott
Goffriller cello 1728 Samuel Mayes currently played by Timothy Eddy
Guffy 1730 Johann Sebastian Paetsch played by Gunther Paetsch (1970-1985)
ex-Pablo Casals 1733 played by Matt Haimovitz; currently played by Claudio Bohorquez.
Goffriller cello 1735 Hermann Busch currently played by Matthias Naegele

Double Basses

Sobriquet Year Provenance Notes
La Salute 1712 the twin of the Benedetto Marcello; fabricated for the Santa Maria della Salute, Venice
Benedetto Marcello 1712 the twin of the La Salute. exhibited in at the Venice Conservatory


External links

Search another word or see Matteo_Goffrilleron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature