Training for the Cathedral choirs is in the hands of a team of highly-skilled professional musicians:
Director of Music
Peter Stobart MA (RAM), BA (Dunelm.), ARCO, LRAM, LTCL, LLCM
Assistant Director of Music
Mr Matthew Breen BMus Perf. (Hons) (Dubl.)
Peter Stobart has been the Director of Music of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork since October 2015.
Since January 2020 he has been the Artistic Director of Cork International Choral Festival.
Originating from Yorkshire, Peter spent eight years forging his musical career in London. He studied choral conducting for two years at the Royal Academy of Music with Patrick Russill and Paul Brough. He was the winner of the Alan Kirby prize for choir training 2007/8 and the Thomas Armstrong Prize for Choral Conducting 2008/9 and took part in masterclasses with David Hill, James O’Donnell, Jeremy Summerly and the BBC Singers.
Peter began his career working with children as the organ scholar of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
After graduating from Durham University, he sang as a Lay Clerk in Peterborough Cathedral choir and he conducted the Peterborough Children’s Choir. Whilst he lived in London he was the Head of Co-Curricular Music at St Dunstan’s College, Catford for six years, teaching music and running much of the choral and instrumental tuition and ensembles. He was sent to China during summer 2014 and 2015 to run a Choral Choral School in Hangzhou and appeared on Chinese National Television.
Since moving to Cork, he has made the Cathedral Choristers his priority and he regularly visits schools across the Diocese, promoting singing and music more generally. The Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross has formally recognised this strategy and from September 2017 it became the Diocesan Church Music Scheme.
The Cathedral Choir appeared on RTÉ Television in October 2017, broadcasting a one hour service including a Bach Cantata, for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. They went to Wales at Easter 2018, Hamburg and Lübeck in April 2019, and most recently in April 2023 to Amsterdam, Haarlem and Leiden in The Netherlands.
Matthew Breen has been the Assistant Director of Music of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral since March 2023.
He is a graduate of The Royal Irish Academy of Music and Trinity College Dublin, where he studied organ with David Adams, attaining First-Class Honours. During this time he was a regular prize-winner at competitions including ‘Feis Ceoil’ and the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition.
Matthew is much in demand as a solo recitalist, having given performances in cathedrals, churches and concert halls throughout the UK and Ireland. As a harpsichordist and continuo player, he has appeared in opera productions and at chamber music festivals, and has performed with the Ulster Orchestra. One of Matthew’s particular focuses is on improvised music. His piano trio ‘Five To Two’ has been praised as a rejuvenating force in Irish jazz, appearing regularly at major music festivals across the country.
From 2016-2021 Matthew was Organist and Director of Music at St Patrick’s Church, Dalkey, Co. Dublin. After that he relocated to Liverpool, where he worked as an organist and choral conductor across Merseyside, most notably as Organ Scholar at Liverpool Cathedral, studying with Ian Tracey.