Thomas Beckmann is a cellist with a conscience.
Nineteen years ago, after reading that two homeless young women had been found frozen in the streets of his city, Düsseldorf, he founded a charity and called it Sleeping Bags for the Roofless (Schlafsack für Obdachlose). Its most effective work is done at this time of year.
Beckmann’s idea has since been copied in 100 German cities. A sometime pupil of Pierre Fournier, Beckmann, 55, has received several awards for his charity work. It would be a good idea to have him export the brand to other lands.
He lives with his wife, the pianist Kayoko Matsushita, in the last house occupied by Robert Schumann before he was taken to an asylum. Read more about the Beckmann and their initiative here.