Michael McMahon. Pianist, coach, accompanist, b Gratton Township, Ont, 23 Jan 1954; B MUS piano (McGill) 1978, diploma vocal accompaniment (Vienna Academy) 1980. McMahon began piano studies at 6, then worked 1972-8 with Charles Reiner at McGill University and 1978-80 with F. Richter-Valenzi in Vienna. During his stay in Austria, he studied German Lied with Erik Werba on a Canada Council grant 1978-80, and also participated in several masterclasses. In the summer of 1978, he was awarded the Franz Schubert Prize for accompaniment by the Franz Schubert Institute. He returned to Montreal in 1980, and became a vocal coach at McGill University. He has also been music director at Greenfield Park United Church 1972-8, 1980, accompanist at the CAMMAC camp 1975-7, accompanist and vocal coach at the Orford Arts Centre 1982-7 and later, vocal coach at the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal from 1984, at Opera East (summer 1990), and at the Banff Centre beginning in 1990. He has also taught at Opera NUOVA in Edmonton.
McMahon has accompanied many artists in recitals, tours (in Canada, the US and Europe), and for the CBC. His musical partners have included Nathan Berg, Maureen Forrester, Lyne Fortin, Karina Gauvin, Dominique Labelle, Richard Margison, Kevin McMillan, and Catherine Robbin; he has accompanied such ensembles as the Tudor Singers of Montreal and the St Lawrence Choir and has appeared with Les Violons du Roy and numerous others. Among his recordings (as accompanist) are an LP with the mezzo-soprano Catherine Robbin (Marquis ERA-113), and the CD Brahms Lieder with Marie-Nicole Lemieux, which Gramophone named an Editors Choice. Several of McMahon's recordings have been nominated for Juno awards. Reviewers have termed McMahon's accompaniments "sympathetic," "redoubtable," and "outstanding."