Matthias Buchholz was born in Hamburg, where he also began his musical training. He continued his studies at the University of Cincinnati, in Detmold and at the famous Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his major teachers were Bruno Giuranna, Karen Tuttle and Michael Tree. Chamber-music studies with the LaSalle Quartet, Felix Galimir and Alexander Schneider of the Budapest Quartet were inspiring and equally important to him. He has been a founding member of the Brahms Quartet Hamburg in 1975 and the Ridge Quartet New York, and has toured extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Canada, as well as South America, Southeast Asia and the Far East.
He has been awarded top prizes at international viola competitions in Bonn 1978, Los Angeles 1981 and Budapest 1984. In 1986, he was appointed principal viola with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra and performed with eminent conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Erich Leinsdorf, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Sir Georg Solti. A frequent guest to international music festivals like the Lyon Musicades, Berliner Festwochen, Warsaw Autumn, Marlboro Festival, Korsholm, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Hitzacker Sommerliche Musiktage, he enjoyed performances with Salvatore Accardo, Sharon Kam, Benny Goodman, Heinz Holliger, Truls Mörk, Frans Helmerson, Anner Bylsma, Boris Pergamenschikov and members of the Beaux Arts Trio as well as the Guarneri-Quartet. Since 1991, he is a member of the internationally acclaimed Linos-Ensemble, recording and touring throuhgout Europe and Southeast Asia. As guest violist he often appears together with the Auryn-, the Vermeer- and the Rosamunde-Quartet.
In 1990 he was appointed professor for viola at the Hochschule für Musik Köln and has been invited to hold masterclasses in many european countries as well as in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, China, Hongkong and South Korea.