Since moving from to London from his native Ireland in 2009, Cathal Garvey 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, Lambeth Orchestra, and Morley College Choir. He was Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor for two seasons at Grange Park Opera and is currently on the staff of the Royal Academy of Music, where he teaches post-graduate Conducting.
Cathal has recently been appointed Principal Conductor of Winchester Symphony Orchestra. Before that, was Musical Director of Newbury Choral Society from 2009 to 2022, and Musical Director of Billingshurst Choral Society from 2015 to 2020. He is conductor and Artistic Director of the London-based Ulysses Symphony Orchestra, which he founded in 2015. In 2017, he took its professional sister-orchestra, the London Ulysses Orchestra, on a six-city tour of China, which included a performance at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Cathal began violin and piano studies in 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 College of Moscow Conservatory.
Cathal 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. He worked on over fifty productions with these companies, acting as Assistant Conductor for several.
During his years in Dublin, Cathal conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Dublin Baroque Players, Dublin Symphony Orchestra and from 2001 to 2006 was Principal Conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Players. From 2004 to 2009 he was Musical Director of Dun Laoghaire Choral Society.
As a violinist, Cathal continues to play professionally in London and the Southeast. In 2019, he was awarded an Honorary ARAM by the Royal Academy of Music.