Cathal Garvey joined Billingshurst Choral Society as Musical Director in March 2015, and has committed to continue to develop and expand the capabilities of the choir.
He began his career in Ireland, where he made his name as a choral and orchestral conductor. As an Opera Chorus Master he worked for most of Ireland’s major opera companies, including Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Anna Livia Opera Festival, Opera South and Lyric Opera. For these companies he worked on over fifty opera productions and has acted as Assistant Conductor for several of them. He has also conducted several musicals in Cork and Dublin. During his ten years in Dublin, Cathal conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Orchestra of St Cecilia, the Ulysses Orchestra, Irish Sinfonia, the Dublin Baroque Players, the Royal Irish Academy of Music Wind Ensemble, Dublin Concert Band, the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir, 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 was a noted champion of British music, conducting many works by Elgar, Delius, Britten, Tippett, Stanford (Irish!) and Vaughan Williams.
Since moving to London in 2009, he has conducted Southern Sinfonia, London International Orchestra, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, I Maestri, London Repertoire Orchestra, London Medical Orchestra, King’s College London Symphony Orchestra and Morley College Choir. He is also Musical Director of Newbury Choral Society and for two seasons was Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor at Grange Park Opera. He is currently on the conducting staff of the Royal Academy of Music.
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. As a violinist, he has played with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and with numerous professional orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the German-based Philharmonia of the Nations. He currently works as a freelance player in London. He has sung and toured with many choirs, among them the Irish Youth Choir, University College Cork Choir, Madrigal ’75 and the College of Moscow Conservatory Choir.