Dirk Boiy - Conductor

As oboe player, Dirk has worked with the orchestras of the Royal Opera Ghent, Royal Flemish Opera Antwerp, de Filharmonie (Royal Flemish Philharmonic, solo oboe) and the Belgian National Opera "De Munt-La Monnaie".

1986-1997: conductor, Kempens Symphonic Orchestra. Creation for Belgium of "The Snowman" by Howard Blake (1991); creation worldwide of "Skriet"Wim Henderickx (1995).

1987: invited by Sir Simon Rattle to Birmingham for orchestral conducting.

1988-2002: assistant to Sir Simon Rattle, Birmingham CBSO and Berlin Philharmonic.

2001-2006: conductor and artistic director, European Festival Orchestra.

2001: artistic director,"FairyTales Concerts Association"
Dirk has also assumed the role of conductor at the Belgian National Opera "De Munt-La Monnaie" for, among others, the following:

• Mozart: Gran Partita (+ cd recording)
• Britten: Sinfonietta
• Stravinsky: Histoire du Soldat - mise-en-scene: Philippe Sireuil (Liège, Brussels, Paris,Amsterdam)
• Stravinsky: Symphony for winds
• Stravinsky: concerto for piano and winds
• Prokofiev: Peter and theWolf (+ cd recording)
• Saint-Saëns: Le Carnaval des Animaux
• Ravel: L'enfant et les Sortilèges (Festival of Flanders)
• Blake:The Snowman (+ cd recording)
• Wagner: Siegfried idyll
• Henderickx: Mysterium
• Beethoven: Fidelio (assistant, Heinrich Schiff)
• Charles Ives: Central Park in the dark (assistant,Antonio Pappano)

Ian Forrester - Narrator

Ian Forrester's musical abilities have long been recognised as modest, but he is accustomed to speaking in public, attired in the exotic horsehair, silk and lace garb of a Scottish lawyer and more recently in the sober gown of judges of the European Courts in Luxembourg. Ian is also a trustee of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (a cultural ambassador of the European Union).
This will be his ninth year as Snowman narrator.

Mary Gow - Organiser & Pianist

Mary comes from Wellington, New Zealand. She holds the degrees of BA and B Mus from Victoria University, Wellington together with the LRSM and FTCL diplomas in piano. She studied for five years at the Royal Conservatorium of Brussels.
Former productions of The Snowman have been teamed with a commissioned work 'The Baboons who live by the River', by Alexander McCall Smith and Tom Cunningham; Carnival of the Animals; Peter and the Wolf; Tubby the Tuba; and versions of Britten's Young Persons' Introduction to the Orchestra. In addition to The Snowman, Mary's other Christmas passion is The Brussels Carol concert which will be held this year on Sunday 15 December.
Russian pianist Nikolai Saratovsky is her newest project, organising concerts and representing him in New Zealand and Belgium.