Cathal Breslin is a concert pianist originally from Derry, Northern Ireland, now living in Memphis, Tennessee in the United States. Has performed extensively in recitals, as a concerto soloist and a chamber musician in concert halls throughout Europe, the U.S., and Asia. He is currently Assistant Professor of Piano and Director of Piano Studies at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, University of Memphis, Tennessee, United States. In 2008 he founded the Walled City Music Festival with his wife, American flautist Dr. Sabrina Hu. It has featured artists such as the Kronos Quartet, Sir James Galway, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Augustin Dumay, Anne Akiko Meyers, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Jan Vogler, Raphael Wallfisch, Jeffrey Zeigler, Jonathan Lemalu, Brodsky Quartet, Fitzwilliam Quartet, Houston Winds, Svetozar Ivanov, Kirill Troussov, Ye-Eun Choi among many others.
He has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the Turin Philharmonic in Italy, Greensboro Symphony in North Carolina, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Jackson Symphony Orchestra in TN, Ulster Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, and with conductors such as Vladimir Altschuler, Barry Douglas, Christian Gansch, Giovanni Battista Rigon, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Niklas Willén, Stephen Bell, David Brophy, Gearóid Grant, Courtney Lewis, Peter Shannon, and Matthew Coorey.
Venues of his solo recitals include the Carnegie Hall,Wigmore Hall in London, Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, Tianjin Grand Theater, El Ateneo in Madrid, Palacio Foz in Lisbon, Zala Bulgaria in Sofia, Chopin Society in Warsaw, National Concert Hall Dublin, Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Beijing University, Beijing Central Conservatory, and concert halls in Ningbo, Qingdao, Chongqing, Nanjing, Suzhou in China, Ohtaki Hall in Tokyo, and many venues in Hong Kong. He has played duo recitals with flutist Sir James Galway, violinists Augustin Dumay, Anne Akiko Meyers, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Kirill Troussov, cellists Jan Vogler, Raphael Wallfisch and Jeffrey Zeigler, oboist Nicholas Daniel, and chamber music with the Brodsky Quartet, Houston Winds, Ceruti Quartet, and the Coull Quartet. As a member of the flute-cello-piano trio, Trio Festivale, along with Dr. Sabrina Hu (flute), Gerald Peregrine (cello), he tours internationally on a regular basis.
His competition wins have included at the 2007 Viotti International Piano Competition in Vercelli/ Milan, Italy, at the 2007 Iowa International Piano Competition in the U.S., at the 2004 Carlet International Piano Competition in Valencia, Spain, and at the 2004 Grand Konzerteum International Piano Competition in Athens, Greece, and the 2003 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, at which he won the Brennan prize and the John Field prize.
His live performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (including on "In Tune" and "Recital"), BBC Radio Ulster, RTÉ Ireland, RTHK Hong Kong, RTVE Spain, and on television in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Spain and Ireland. He recorded extensively for the European Broadcasting Union, solo sonatas for the Mozart Project 2006 and the Takemitsu Riverrun Piano Concerto with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for the Poets and Literature Series 2010. These recordings have been broadcast worldwide throughout the EBU network. In addition, CD releases have included the complete piano works of Philip Hammond, and Sean O'Riada's Nomos for piano and orchestra, recorded as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
He was educated at the Royal College of Music in London with John Barstow (1997–2001), receiving a BMus (Hons) Degree with Distinction. From 2001-3 he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Kathryn Stott, Benjamin Frith and Alexander Melnikov, graduating with a Masters of Music with Distinction, Postgraduate Diploma and Professional Performance Diploma. From 2003-5 he was at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Madrid with Joaquín Soriano. From 2005 until 2008 he was a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan as a Fulbright Scholar, graduating with a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance, studying with Arthur Greene. For three years he was visiting faculty in piano performance, collaborative piano, and chamber music at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth and at the Queen's University in Belfast. He is currently Assistant Professor of Piano and Director of Piano Studies at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, University of Memphis, Tennessee, United States.
Cathal Breslin was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. His father, William ("Willie") Breslin, was a History Teacher, well-known Civil Rights Leader and Chairman of the Labor Party in Northern Ireland. In 2008, William Breslin was awarded a medal by the Irish President, Mary McAleese, in a ceremony in Derry honoring the impact of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement. His mother, Gloria Breslin, née Sweeney, was a local Bookkeeper for lawyers and other companies. In 2006, Cathal Breslin married American Flutist, Dr. Sabrina Hu,.