February 22, 1901
|Died||August 22, 1980 (aged 79)|
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Resting place||Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, U.S.|
Cosmé McMunn (February 22, 1901 – August 22, 1980), who used the name Cosmé McMoon, was an Irish-Mexican-American pianist and composer, best known as the accompanist to notably tone-deaf soprano Florence Foster Jenkins.
Life and career
McMoon was born as Cosmé McMunn in 1901 in Mapimí, Mexico, the son of Maria (Valadez) and Cosme McMunn. His paternal grandparents were Irish and his mother was of Mexican descent. He moved with his family to San Antonio, Texas around 1911. He moved to New York City around 1920 to further his musical studies, and likely adopted the McMoon spelling around that time. Jenkins met McMoon sometime in the 1920s, and knowing McMoon was a concert pianist, eventually asked him to help her prepare for her performances and accompany her.
Apart from giving occasional piano lessons, McMoon never achieved a career in music after Jenkins' death in 1944, and instead pursued a long interest in bodybuilding and judging bodybuilding contests. He was a master chess player and was fascinated with mathematics. He resided in New York City until shortly before his death in August 1980. McMoon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and moved back to San Antonio, and died two days after arriving. His remains were cremated and his ashes rest at Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio. McMoon never married nor had any children.
He is portrayed in a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Simon Helberg in the 2016 feature film about the life of Jenkins titled Florence Foster Jenkins. He was also one of the characters in Glorious!, 2005 stage comedy by Peter Quilter.
- Florence Foster Jenkins: The Life of the World's Worst Opera Singer, by Darryl W. Bullock, The Overlook Press, Jul 12, 2016
- McKinnon, George. "Scene Changes for Two Stage Groups." Boston Globe, August 31, 1980. ProQuest. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Thiollet, Jean-Pierre. Piano ma non solo: l'art de l'accompagnement. Anagramme Editions, 2012. ISBN 9782350353333. p. 141. Google Books. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- "Deaths: Cosmé McMunn." The New York Times, August 25, 1980. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- (23 March 1936). "Cosme McMoon's Recital." The New York Times, March 23, 1936. (Reporting on McMoon's "first New York recital at the Town Hall" the previous night, which had "an audience of moderate size" in attendance. States he was born in Texas and educated there.)
- "Interview With Cosme McMoon". Archived from the original on July 6, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2012. (transcript from rebroadcast of interview in 1991)
- Taylor, Robert (9 September 1980). Cosme McMoon: Man of Miracles, Boston Globe
- Brantley, Ben. Review of Souvenir, The New York Times
- (7 May 2010). When Singing So Bad Wasn’t So Good, The New York Times