Michael Shahan was born in Washington D.C and came to Philadelphia to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with Roger Scott, then principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Shahan also studied under Joseph Willens in Washington.
Upon graduation from Curtis Mr. Shahan joined the National Symphony in Washington, where he remained for two seasons before joining The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1964. He was named assistant principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1970 and was associate principal bass from 1987 to 2017.
Mr. Shahan serves as co-music director of the Amerita Chamber Players and plays bass in the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble. He also plays viola da gamba with the American Society of Ancient Instruments and bass in the Philadelphia Jazz Quintet. He received The Philadelphia Orchestra’s C. Hartman Kuhn Award in 1987 for distinguished service to the Orchestra. Mr. Shahan has previously taught at the New School of Music (now Boyer School at Temple University) for 35 years. He also taught students privately.
Mr. Shahan enjoys collecting recordings of all kinds of music in LP, CD, and DVD formats. His collection includes about 9,000 items.
Photo: Jessica Griffin