SSO Music Director and Conductor
Kevin McMahon is the Music Director and Conductor of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. His leadership of the Sheboygan Symphony began with the 2010-11 Season. Kevin also serves as associate conductor of the New York Repertory Orchestra in New York City, Artistic Advisor for Opera Kelowna in British Columbia, Canada and Artistic Director of the Maud Powell Music Festival.
Kevin studied orchestral, choral, and opera conducting at the University of Michigan with Gustav Meier, Carl St. Clair, Thomas Hilbish, Leo Najar, and H. Robert Reynolds, and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with David E. Becker, James Smith, Beverly Taylor and William Farlow. McMahon's musical mentors include Margaret Hillis, Elizabeth A. H. Green, Gunther Schuller, and Maurice Abravanel. As part of the New York Philharmonic Symposium he worked with Erich Leinsdorf. From 1985-88, the Michigan native was music director and conductor of the National Arts Chamber Orchestra, and from 1989-94 he served as the head conductor for the Lincoln Opera of Chicago. In 1995 Kevin was appointed resident conductor of the Rome Festival (Italy), allowing him to lead numerous concerts, operas, and ballets in his ten-year term there. Kevin was music director of the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra from 1995-08.
In the United States he has led orchestras in Chicago, Spokane, Tampa, Elgin, South Bend, Cleveland, Madison, Marquette, Washington D.C., Wheaton, Ann Arbor, Indianapolis, Evanston and Milwaukee to name a few. Furthermore, he has conducted orchestras internationally in Germany, Czech Republik, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Italy.
In addition to his orchestral work, Kevin has devoted his life to opera. His most significant projects in recent years include new productions of his own operas Maud Powell-Queen of Violinists and Marilyn Monroe at the Maud Powell Music Festival. He has also produced Hansel and Gretel at the Maud Powell Music Festival and The Consul at Chamber Opera Chicago. He has worked at opera and ballet houses in Chicago, Atlanta, and South Bend as a guest conductor.
As conductor, Kevin strongly supports contemporary music leading a number of European premieres, United States premieres, and seventy-six world premieres of stage and concert works.
Among the many awards Kevin McMahon has received, the most prestigious was the Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Fellowship enabling him to pursue and earn a Doctor of Musical Arts.