Born in England of Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Australian extraction, Gavin Carr was a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, before commencing an international career as a baritone. He sang the title role in The Barber of Seville for English National Opera opposite Lesley Garrett, and also appeared as Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas and St Ignatius in Four Saints in Three Acts for them. Other appearances have included Britten's War Requiem in Chile for the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, in Moscow with the Novaya Opera, in Tallin and in Winchester Cathedral. He sang the baritone solos in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius in Beijing and Shanghai. In April 2016 he sang the alto/baritone role in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Bath Philharmonia.
In 2001, Garvin Carr took up conducting alongside his singing career, and quickly established a strong reputation. After learning his trade as an assistant conductor at Wexford Festival and at the Cantiere d'Arte di Montepulciano, he made his operatic debut with the acclaimed production of La Tragédie de Carmen at the 2007 Wexford Festival, which was nominated for an Irish Times National Arts Award. He was appointed Chorus Director of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in 2009, and the following year became the founder-director of the new Wexford Festival Opera Chorus. He has also been appointed an associate conductor of the Philharmonia Chorus. Other current music directorships include the Bath Minerva Choir, and his own professional choir, Chorus Angelorum, with whom he recorded two of his brother Paul Carr’s large scale choral works, Requiem for an Angel and Seven Last Words from the Cross. He was previously Music Director of the Bristol Bach Choir after a tenure notable for ambitious projects and tours. He is Associate Conductor of the Bath Philharmonia. In 2016 he became a Guest Chorus-Director of the BBC Symphony Chorus.
He made his Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducting debut in September 2011, conducting Richard Blackford’s Not in Our Time, commissioned by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus to celebrate its centenary, with performances in Cheltenham and Poole. He subsequently conducted the recording of this work, which was issued by Nimbus in November 2011. In 2014, he conducted the first performances of Robert Mitchell’s Invocation, a large scale work for jazz ensemble and chorus, in Bournemouth and at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London for the London Jazz festival, and Britten’s War Requiem in Poole to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. He conducted Verdi’s Un ballo in Maschera in 2015, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in 2016 for Dorset Opera, receiving high praise in the national press.
Since 2013, he has conducted annual Good Friday performances in Poole of the Bach Passions. In July 2015, he conducted Mahler’s Symphony No.8 in Poole with combined choirs from Bath and Bournemouth and the Amadeus Orchestra. He conducted the Chorus in his brother’s Requiem for an Angel in Christchurch Priory in May 2016, and Richard Blackford’s Voices of Exile in Wimborne Minster in July 2016.