Dirk Boiy - Conductor


As principal oboe player in different Belgian orchestras (Opera House of Ghent, Royal Opera House of Antwerp, Antwerp Philharmonic Orchestra, National Opera House "La Monnaie" in Brussels) Dirk's career has offered many opportunities to work with and learn from eminent conductors.
In 1986 he became conductor of the Kempens Symphonic Orchestra, the formation with which he organised the first staging of Howard Blake's "The Snowman"  in Belgium in 1991.
In 1987, Sir Simon Rattle invited him to Birmingham as an orchestral conductor.  Following that experience, from 1988-2002 he assumed the role of assistant conductor to Sir Simon for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic.
From 2001-2006 Dirk took on the role of conductor and artistic director of the European Festival Orchestra.  During the same period he co-founded and acted as artistic director of the Fairy Tales Concerts Association, an association aiming to help young people find their way to classical music.  Under the auspices of the Belgian National Opera Dirk developed a series of children's concerts and CD recordings based on musical fairy-tales.
From 2013 -2016 he was a guest conductor at the Festival of the Aegean where he conducted family concerts with the Pan-European Philharmonia from Warsaw (Stravinsky: Histoire du Soldat; Britten: Young Persons Guide To The Orchestra; Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf; Kleinsinger: Tubby The Tuba).
Since 2016 Dirk has been conductor and co-director of the European FairyTale Orchestra, an ensemble of international first class musicians committed to performing musical fairy-tales from different European countries and bring to young people an awareness and appreciation of their common cultural background.


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 eighth 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 16 December.
Russian pianist Nikolai Saratovsky is her newest project, organising concerts and representing him in New Zealand and Belgium.