Chicago Symphony Orchestra trombonist Michael Mulcahy appears worldwide as a soloist, conductor and teacher. He was appointed to the CSO by Sir Georg Solti in 1989 and previously was principal trombonist of the Tasmanian and Melbourne symphony orchestras and solo trombonist of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra.
He made his solo debut with the Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim in 2000, and subsequently performed as soloist under Pierre Boulez in music by Elliott Carter. In October 2016, he gave the world premiere of Carl Vine’s Five Hallucinations for Trombone and Orchestra, a joint commission of the Chicago Symphony and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In February 2018, he gave the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Low Brass Concerto, a CSO commission that the Orchestra subsequently took on its East Coast tour.
Mulcahy 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.
He has been principal trombonist of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, and of the Grand Teton Music Festival since 1992. He also is principal trombonist of the Australian World Orchestra, with whom he has performed conductors Alexander Briger, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Muti. He was a founding member of the National Brass Ensemble in 2014. Michael Mulcahy’s interest in conducting was sparked by an invitation from West German Radio (WDR) Orchestra to direct a concert of music by Arvo Pärt. He serves as director of the CSO Brass, conducts annually for the Grand Teton Musical Festival, and makes guest appearances with the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, New World Symphony and the Royal Danish Orchestra. He has also served as music director for National Music Camp in Australia.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Michael Mulcahy began studying trombone with his father Jack Mulcahy, and completed his studies with Baden McCarron of the Sydney Symphony and with Geoffrey Bailey at the State Conservatorium of New South Wales. He became a senior lecturer at the Canberra School of Music at the Australian National University in 1987. He currently leads the trombone studio at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and is a visiting artist at the Australian National Academy of Music.