Born in Dublin, Ireland, a graduate of University College Dublin. Colman Pearce studied conducting in Vienna under the tutelage of famed conducting professor Hans Swarovski (Claudio Abbado and Zubin Meta being amongst his distinguished protégés).
As Principal Conductor of the RTE Symphony Orchestra from 1981 to 1983, he performed for radio, television and on the concert stage, including, leading the orchestra in the Gala opening of Ireland’s National Concert Hall. (Subsequently, the orchestra was renamed the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.)
From 1984 to 1987 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (Spain).
In 1987 Pearce emigrated to the United States where he was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (1987-1999). There, in his final year, he was the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in the State of Mississippi, and had the honour bestowed on him of “Freeman of the City of New Orleans.” During this period, he frequently returned to Ireland to guest conduct the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
A Naxos/Marco Polo Recording Artist, Colman has recorded, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the music of Irish composers Charles Stanford, Gerard Victory, Brian Boydell, John Buckley, Frank Corcoran, Raymond Deane, Seoirse Bodley and James Wilson. His other recordings for Naxos include operas and orchestral compositions by Spanish composer Leonardo Balada, performed with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.
Having returned to his native Ireland, Pearce became Principal Guest Conductor of the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999 and will share conducting responsibilities with the DPO's Music Director and Conductor Derek Gleeson during the orchestra's inaugural tour of the United States in 2009.