Michael Hell was born into a musical family in Vienna and studied violoncello at the Vienna Academy, from which he graduated with honors in 1980. Since 1981 he has been solo cellist of the Munich Philharmonic. Hell plays cello duets with Werner Thomas Mifune and performs duets and string quartets with his brother, violinist Josef Hell. For many years he has maintained a close relationship with the violinist Thomas Christian, with whom he founded the Vienna String Quartet. Michael Hell has performed as soloist in cello concertos with a number of illustrious conductors such as Christoph von Dohnányi, Herbert Blomstedt, Hiroshi Wakasugi, Dmitry Kitayenko and Maxim Shostakovitch in Germany, Austria, Italy, Norway and Japan. In addition he has performed at the Schwetzingen, Ludwigsburg, Bregenz and Salzburg Festivals. Michael Hell plays on an instrument built by Gennaio Gagliano in 1736.