Cathal Garvey  – Musical Director

Cathal Garvey hails from Ireland where he made his name as a choral and orchestral conductor.

He began his career as an Opera Chorus Master working for most of Ireland’s major opera companies including Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Anna Livia Opera Festival, Opera South and Lyric Opera Productions. For these companies he has worked on over 40 productions including La Bohème, Il Trovatore, Boris Godunov, Aïda, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Hérodiade, La Rondine, Madame Butterfly, The Flying Dutchman, The Silver Tassie, Cavalleria Rusticana, Tosca, Don Carlo, La Traviata, Carmen, Macbeth, Faust, Martha, The Queen of Spades, Andrea Chénier, Jenufa, Rigoletto, Orfeo ed Euridice, La Cenerentola, Fidelio, Don Pasquale, The Pearl Fishers and Lucia di Lammermoor. He acted as Assistant Conductor for several of these productions and has also conducted several musicals in Cork and Dublin.


In recent years Cathal has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTE Concert Orchestra, the Orchestra of St Cecilia, the Ulysses Orchestra, the Irish Sinfonia, the Dublin Baroque Players, the Royal Irish Academy of Music Wind Ensemble, Dublin Concert Band, Bray Choral Society and from 2001 to 2006 was Principal Conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Players.

From 2004 to 2009 he was Musical Director of the Dun Laoghaire Choral Society with whom he had a highly successful tenure, covering a wide range of sacred music and oratorios. During this time he became a noted champion of British music, conducting many works by Elgar, Delius, Britten, Tippett, Stanford (admittedly Irish!) and, in particular, Vaughan Williams with whose music he has a special affinity. At his debut concert with Dun Laoghaire, the Irish Times wrote:

"Cathal Garvey is a young conductor knocking at the door.  His most prominent achievement to date has been his transforming impact at Opera Ireland….  Garvey not only has good musical instincts but also the technical proficiency to communicate them to his choir and players."

Cathal began violin and piano studies in his native Cork at an early age, continuing at the Cork School of Music and later reading music at University College Cork. After completing his Masters Degree in Conducting he studied for two years at the prestigious College of Moscow Conservatory.

Cathal's principal instrument is the violin; he was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and he has played professionally with many orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the German-based Philharmonia of the Nations.

As a chorister, Cathal has sung and toured with many large choirs and chamber choirs, among them the Irish Youth Choir, University College Cork Choir, Madrigal '75 and the College of Moscow Conservatory Choir.

Cathal moved to London in April 2009 to take up the post of Chorus Master with Grange Park Opera. In addition he now regularly conducts the London Repertoire Orchestra.

Newbury Choral Society was delighted to appoint him Musical Director in September 2009.

September 2009