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Although it is known that Goffriller was born in Brixen, little else is known of him prior to his days in Venice, that is before 1685. He was active between 1685–1735 and was the founder of the "Venetian School" of luthiers, during a time when Venice was one of the most important centers of musical activity in the world.
Goffriller's cellos had been erroneously attributed in the past to the Guarneri family, Carlo Bergonzi or even Antonio Stradivari and were virtually unknown until the 1920s, when they began to be discovered. The 1733 Goffriller cello once owned by Pablo Casals was originally attributed to Bergonzi. His earliest authenticated instrument is a viola da gamba dated 1689.
Goffriller arrived in Venice in 1685 to work for luthier Martin Kaiser (Caiser). In 1685 he married Martin Kaiser's daughter Maddalena Maria Kaiser (Caiser), at the Madonna delle Grazie in Venice; she bore him twelve children (five boys and seven girls) in 26 years. Francesco Goffriller, long thought to be his brother, according to recent research actually was his son. He is believed to have taught luthiers Domenico Montagnana and Francesco Gobetti in addition to Francesco, and died in Venice in 1742.
The standard label for a Gofriller instrument, whether genuine or forged, uses the Latin inscription Mattheus Goffriller Fece in Venezia Anno [date], identifying maker, city (Venice) and year made; the date is either printed or handwritten. But he actually labeled only a small percentage of the instruments in order to avoid paying Venetian taxes.
Pablo Casals's Goffriller 1733 cello was his main concert instrument for most of his professional life. He acquired it in 1913 and played it until his death in 1973. Since 2000, winners of the International Pablo Casals Cello Competition in Kronberg, Germany may use it for two years. Terence Weil played another Goffriller used by Casals before the one he played between 1913 & 1973.
Other notable musicians who have used Goffriller instruments include:
- Peter Wiley
- Zuill Bailey
- Emanuel Feuermann
- László Fenyö
- Alban Gerhardt
- Natalia Gutman
- Matt Haimovitz
- Milt Hinton
- Édouard Lalo
- Lorne Munroe
- Daniel Mueller-Schott
- Susie Napper
- Johann Sebastian Paetsch
- Nicolo Paganini
- Carlo Alfredo Piatti
- Jacqueline du Pré
- Leonard Rose
- Harvey Shapiro
- Joseph Schuster
- Janos Starker
|Goffriller violin||1695||currently played by Andrej Power|
|Goffriller violin||1700||played by Alexander Yudkovsky since 2008|
|Goffriller violin||ca. 1700||Stradivari Society||played by Michala Høj|
|Goffriller violin||1700||played on by Jorja Fleezanis|
|Goffriller violin||1700||played on by Fanny Clamagirand|
|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, subsequently recovered|
|Goffriller Violin||1723||played by Amanda Favier since 1996|
|Goffriller Violin||1730||the Counts of Colloredo Castle, Friuli|
|Goffriller viola||ca. 1720|
|ex-Walter Trampler||1727||Richard O'Neill||measures 41 cm|
|Goffriller cello||1689||Mischa Maisky||Currently played by Sevak Avanesyan|
|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||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||Ex-Amadeus Quartet||played by Christian-Pierre La Marca|
|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 François Kieffer (Modigliani Quartet)|
|Goffriller cello||1707||Previously Hershel Gorodetzky (now Gordon), The Philadelphia Orchestra & Stringart Quartet.||played by Eric Kim|
|Goffriller cello||1708||Istituto della Pietà, Venice|
|Goffriller cello||1710||played by Matt Haimovitz|
|Goffriller cello||1710||played by Anthony Ross, principal cello, Minnesota Orchestra|
|Goffriller cello||1710||played by Richard Hirschl, cellist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra|
|Goffriller cello||1710||played by Xavier Phillips, French cellist|
|Goffriller cello||1711||played by Marc Coppey|
|Goffriller cello||1715||Samsung Foundation of Culture||played by Sara Sant'Ambrogio|
|Goffriller cello||1715||Stradivari Society|
|Goffriller cello||1720||Emanuel Feuermann||played by Joseph Schuster|
|Goffriller cello||1720||played by Moray Welsh|
|Goffriller cello||1720||"ex-Lederlin"||played by David Delacroix|
|Goffriller cello||1722||Yo-Yo Ma||played by Valentin Erben|
|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|
|Gorrfiller cello||1730||Johannes Goritzki||currently played by Johannes Goritzki|
|Guffy||1730||Johann Sebastian Paetsch||played by Gunther Paetsch (1970–1985)|
|ex-Pablo Casals||1733||Currently played by Amit Peled; played by Matt Haimovitz; played by Claudio Bohorquez.|
|Goffriller cello||1735||Hermann Busch||currently played by Matthias Naegele|
|Benedetto Marcello||1712||exhibited in at the Venice Conservatory|
- Dilworth, John (2012). Brompton's Book of Violin and Bow Makers. Usk Publishing. ISBN 9780957349902.
- Pio, Stefano (2004). Violin and Lute Makers of Venice 1640-1760. Venice, Italy: Venice research. p. 383. ISBN 978-88-907252-2-7.
- Claudio Bohórquez winner of "1. Internationaler Pablo-Casals-Wettbewerb der Kronberg Academy" 2000 (in German)
- Obituary Terence Weil The Independent, William Waterhouse, 9 March 1995
- "Albert Edward Sammons". The Strad Magazine 97 (1156). August 1986. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Stradivari Invest
- "The Little Box That Sings". 2000-12-13. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Missing or empty
- "Cello by Matteo Goffriller, 1690c". Cozio.com. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- Nicholas Anderson (2005). "The "Count Marcello" Gofriller". nicholas-anderson.com. Archived from the original on 2005-12-17. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Katherine Millett. "All Things Strings: Born to Teach, page 3". Strings Magazine. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Cello by Matteo Goffriller, 1726 (ex-Cossmann)". Cozio.com. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Amit Peled Receives Pablo Casals's Cello". Amit Peled Newsletter. 19 May 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
- Violin and Lute makers of Venice 1640 -176 by Stefano Pio, Ed. Venice research, Venezia 2004 www.veniceresearch.com
- Journal of The Violin Society of America, VSA papers Vol. XXI, No. 1 “The Life and Work of Matteo Goffriller of Venice 1659–1742” by Stefano Pio.
- "Violins, violas, cellos & double basses made by Matteo Goffriller". Cozio.com. 2008.
- " Matteo Goffriller Cello" by the John Dilworth on the Amati website.