Matthias Bräutigam, born into a cantor's family in Gotha, studied with Brunhard Böhme at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar from 1975 to 1980. In 1979 he received a diploma at the Markneukirchen International Instrumental Competition, and the following year he was a Bach Prize winner at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. Since 1980 Matthias Bräutigam has been the coordinated solo cellist of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1986 he was a member of the "World Orchestra" in Rio de Janeiro and played under the direction of Lorin Maazel. From 2000 to 2003 he held a teaching position at the Academy of Music in Weimar. Since 2003 he has been teaching at the Musikhochschule in Dresden, for which he was awarded an honorary professorship in 2016.
Matthias Bräutigam is a member of various chamber music ensembles (Dresden Baroque Soloists, Dresden String Quintet), has given concerts in other European countries and has made radio and CD recordings.