Chicago Symphony Orchestra trombonist Michael Mulcahy has appeared as soloist and teacher in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia; and as soloist with the CSO and Daniel Barenboim, as well as the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Hilversum Radio Symphony, and the Melbourne Symphony.
Michael is the winner of several international competitions, among them the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Instrumental Competition, the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, the Viotti International Competition in Italy, and the International Instrumental Competition in the former East German city of Markneukirchen.
Active as a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, his work also includes collaborations with Barenboim, Boulez, Joseph Silverstein, Christoph Eschenbach, William Bolcom, and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as appearances at Chamber Music Northwest and the Grand Teton Music Festival, where he has conducted for many years. He has worked with the world’s most prominent composers, including John Adams, Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio, Iannis Xenakis, Olivier Messian, Krzysztof Penderecki, and as a member of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen’s performance ensemble.
Sir Georg Solti appointed Michael Mulcahy to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1989. He also is Principal Trombone of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and the Grand Teton Music Festival. His orchestral career began in 1976 as Principal Trombone of the Tasmanian Symphony. A year later, he attained the same chair with the Melbourne Symphony. He left Australia in 1981 to pursue a career in Europe, where he became Solo Trombone with the Cologne Radio Symphony.
He was Head of Brass of the Canberra School of Music at the Australian National University in 1987. In 1999, he was appointed Professor of Music at Northwestern University. He also has been an artist-in-residence at Indiana University and Wiley Housewright Scholar at Florida State University, and he regularly appears at universities worldwide. Mulcahy has taught and conducted at Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Workshop for young Arab and Israeli musicians in Seville, Spain.
Michael Mulcahy’s interest in conducting was sparked by an invitation from West German Radio in 1987. Since then, he has been active in conducting a wide variety of works with an emphasis on the twentieth century. In 1988, he formed the Canberra School of Music Chamber Players and the Orchestral Repertoire Ensemble at Australian National University. Shortly thereafter he was appointed assistant conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. He toured Japan as guest conductor at the International Youth Musicale in Shizouka and Denmark for the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. He also has worked as an assistant for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has conducted for Music of the Millennium and composer-perspective festivals at the Museum of Contemporary Art, served as music director for National Music Camp in Australia, and he regularly leads the Chicago Chamber Musicians.
Michael Mulcahy was born in Sydney, Australia. He began studying trombone with his father Jack Mulcahy, and completed his studies with Baden McCarron of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and with Geoffrey Bailey at the State Conservatorium of New South Wales.