Dirk BoiyDirk Boiy

Choir Director and Conductor

Dirk is an oboist and conductor who graduated from the Antwerp Konservatorium with higher Diplomas in 1979. He has held positions as first oboe with the Opera Orchestras of Gent and Antwerp, the Royal Flanders Philharmonic and now the Royal Monnaie Opera Orchestra. He became conductor of the Kempens Symphony Orchestra and later studied with Sir Simon Rattle, CBSO, who said of him "Here is a man who is obviously full of music.

A sensitive, intelligent and well-prepared musician. He deserves - as much as anyone I have met - to have an enormously successful conducting career ". Dirk was Sir Simon's assistant at several concerts with the CBSO and the Berlin Philharmonic. From 1992 - 2002 he was conductor and musical director of the European Festival Orchestra. In 2002 he became music director of "Sprookjesconcerten", the organization that brings classical music to children.

Mary GowMary Gow

Assistant Music Director and Pianist

Mary Gow comes from Wellington, New Zealand. She holds the degrees of B.A. and B Mus fromVictoria University, Wellington together with the LRSM and FTCL diplomas in piano. She studied for five years on a Belgian Government Scholarship to the Royal Brussels Conservatorium (in Flemish) gaining First Prizes and Higher Diplomas in both Piano and Chamber Music. She has specialised in the latter as a member of the Kowalski Trio and has a piano duo partnership with Vivienne McKay. She accompanied internationally renowned New Zealand opera diva, Dame Malvina Major on her 2000 tour, visiting Washington, London, The Hague, Paris and Brussels.
Her other passion is the Children's Charity Christmas Concert, "The Snowman" . Former productions have been a commissioned work by Alexander McCall Smith and Tom Cunningham called "The Baboons who live by the River", Carnival of the Animals, Peter and the Wolf and various versions of Young Person's Guides to the Orchestra. Fundraising activities include the St Andrews Church of Scotland's Folk Nights, which raised over 1600 euros for the Philippines storm devastation in Tacloban.

Ian ForresterJudge Ian Forrester

Master of Ceremonies

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. Ian is also a trustee of the European Union Baroque Orchestra (a cultural ambassador of the European Union), and responsible worldwide for the pro bono practice of White & Case. This will be his ninth year as Master of Ceremonies.