Malcolm Martineau was born in Edinburgh, read Music at St Catharine's College, Cambridge and studied at the Royal College of Music.
Recognised as one of the leading accompanists of his generation, he has worked with many of the world's greatest singers including Sir Thomas Allen, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Barbara Bonney, Ian Bostridge, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Della Jones, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kozena, Solveig Kringelborn, Jonathan Lemalu, Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Karita Mattila, Lisa Milne, Ann Murray, Anna Netrebko, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Michael Schade, Frederica von Stade, Sarah Walker and Bryn Terfel.
He has presented his own series at the Wigmore Hall (a Britten and a Poulenc series and Decade by Decade - 100 years of German Song broadcast by the BBC) and at the Edinburgh Festival (the complete lieder of Hugo Wolf). He has appeared throughout Europe (including London's Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Opera House; La Scala, Milan; the Chatelet, Paris; the Liceu, Barcelona; Berlin's Philharmonie and Konzerthaus; Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein), North America (including in New York both Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall), Australia (including the Sydney Opera House) and at the Aix‑en‑Provence, Vienna, Edinburgh, Schubertiade, Munich and Salzburg Festivals.
Recording projects have included Schubert, Schumann and English song recitals with Bryn Terfel (for Deutsche Grammophon); Schubert and Strauss recitals with Simon Keenlyside (for EMI); recital recordings with Angela Gheorghiu and Barbara Bonney (for Decca), Magdalena Kozena (for DG), Della Jones (for Chandos), Susan Bullock (for Crear Classics), Solveig Kringelborn (for NMA); Amanda Roocroft (for Onyx); the complete Fauré songs with Sarah Walker and Tom Krause; the complete Britten Folk Songs for Hyperion; the complete Beethoven Folk Songs for Deutsche Grammophon; the complete Poulenc songs for Signum; and Britten Song Cycles as well as Schubert's Winterreise with Florian Boesch for Onyx.
He was a given an honorary doctorate at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2004, and appointed International Fellow of Accompaniment in 2009. Malcolm was the Artistic Director of the 2011 Leeds Lieder+ Festival.