About 2016

About Holly Mulcahy

official bio

After hearing Scheherazade at an early age, Holly Mulcahy fell in love with the violin and knew it would be her future. Since then, she has won multiple positions in symphonic orchestras from Richmond to Phoenix and is currently serving as concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.

Holly began developing her leadership skills at the renowned Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with former Baltimore Symphony concertmaster Herbert Greenberg. In recent seasons she has enjoyed serving as traveling concertmaster for Emmy Award winner George Daugherty’s Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, and as guest concertmaster for the Columbus Symphony (OH), Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and a one-year appointment as interim concertmaster for Orchestra Iowa.

As an in-demand performer, Holly balances her orchestral duties with numerous concerto performances around the country. Passionate about performing living American composers’ works, Holly has been featured as soloist for concertos by Jennifer Higdon, Jim Stephenson, Philip Glass, and now a concerto being written for her by Hollywood film composer, George S. Clinton. This new concerto, The Rose of Sonora: a violin concerto in five scenes, is inspired by true stories about the lives of legendary women in the Old West and will take the listener on an epic western adventure of love and revenge. The world premiere performance will be in April 2019.

Believing in music as a healing and coping source, Holly founded Arts Capacity, a charitable 501(c)3 which focuses on bringing live chamber music, art, artists, and composers to prisons. Arts Capacity addresses many emotional and character-building issues people face as they prepare for release into society.

In addition to an active performing career, Holly is the author of Neo Classical, a monthly column on the future of classical music. On days off, Holly maintains a reputation for planning and hosting exquisite gourmet parties in her Chicago home.

Holly performs on a 1917 Giovanni Cavani violin, previously owned by the late renowned soloist Eugene Fodor, and a bespoke bow made by award winning master bow maker, Douglas Raguse.

Chattanooga Symphony & Opera


It is a rich combination of great ingredients that make the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera instantly appealing.  At first glance, the types of music programmed from season to season hint at the bold, purposeful, and passionate.

Having made the decision to pass up similar opportunities in orchestras with larger budgets, it is a pleasure to see a chemistry between musicians and music director that reveals a genuine appreciation for making music with the dedication to excellence and sincerity.

It is liberating to find a supportive and energetic board along with a dedicated and very efficient management which keeps the beautiful city of Chattanooga engaged with musical excellence. I’m delighted and honored to be a part of this organization by serving as concertmaster; it is clear to me that in a time where classical music faces a rapidly changing future, this is the right orchestra with the right people to keep such a great art form thriving.

~ Holly Mulcahy

Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra

member since 2003

“With a balance of natural beauty and musical splendor, The Grand Teton Music Festival feeds the senses and soul for musicians and music lovers alike. I’m proud to be a part of the fine music making each summer.  A mix of the most talented and seasoned professional musicians from across the globe, these musicians have become close friends which I’ve enjoyed performing alongside year after year. Not only is this an annual reunion with friends, my family is also an important part of my stay in the Tetons.

My brother Craig Mulcahy, principal trombone of the National Symphony Orchestra, also performs with the Festival Orchestra and my parents spend their summer volunteering at the Elk Refuge just a few miles from the concert hall giving Craig and I an instant fan base.

When my friends and family are not sharing a breathtaking concert experience, we are taking in the magnificent mountains and enjoying hikes and picnics. To call this place magical doesn’t do it justice; it is life enhancing goodness for the ears, eyes, heart, and soul.”

~ Holly Mulcahy

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