Conductors of the festival workshops will be:

Martin Studer, Gerhart Drijvers, Ari Poutiainen, David Ramael, Normunds Drégis and Cathal Garvey and Konstantin Dobroykov

Here is a short introduction to them.

Martin Studer

Has an outstanding reputation as a top motivator and talent manager with great enthusiasm, he has excellent motivational skills has a versatile interest but is a specialised generalist as well, with profound knowledge in numerous fields. Celebrated and appreciated conductor at home and abroad. In over 30 years, he has also made an excellent name for himself as an artist and doer in the field of cultural and concert organisation as well as in the promotion and mediation of young musicians. 


Winner of numerous prizes at home and abroad. Has founded and built up numerous ensembles and institutions since 1990 (including Neues Zürcher Orchester, Alumni- & Sinfonie-Orchester Uni Bern, Schweizer Musikfestwochen, Swiss Philharmonic Academy). Since 2015 also CEO of "Life School through Music" (LSM). Since 2016 / 2017 also main subject lecturer for "Conducting and Organisation" at the Kalaidos University of Music. 


In addition to his activities as a guest conductor with renowned professional orchestras in Switzerland and abroad, supporting young musicians as well as people with disabilities and in difficult circumstances has always been a central concern in his multifaceted work. 


In 2020, Martin Studer was awarded a prize of recognition for his tireless work and support of young musical talent, including the NZO, by the Canton of Zurich's Office of Culture.


Gerhart Drijvers

Originally a horn player, Gerhart Drijvers discovered a love of conducting. He holds several conducting qualifications: HaFa (1999); orchestra conducting with VU University Amsterdam's Symphony Orchestra, graduating cum laude; and a Masters in orchestra conducting with Das Philharmonisches Orchester (Hagen, Germany).

Besides his positions as a conductor with several orchestra's Gerhart develops musical theatre for which he arranges the music (Punch and the Songfestival, Sinterklaas the true story) and he was the musical director of Productiehuis Alphen's Christmas production 'Scrooge and Marley'. Since 2013 he conducts the bi-annual concerts of the Mattheus Passion also in Alphen aan den Rijn. In september 2021 he will conduct the closing concert of the Choirfestival. 

For the orchestra in which he holds a position as a hornplayer Gerhart arranged the music for Imad (about a little boy refugee, for narrator, violin, oboe and guitar) and Romeo & Julia (for brass ensemble and 3 actors/singers)                                              foto: Doris van Meggelen

Ari Poutiainen (PhD)

is a contemporary Finnish jazz composer, violinist and researcher. He has performed across Europe and the USA, led various small groups and string ensembles. He appears on more than 50 albums as a soloist, composer, conductor and arranger. He works as an associate professor of music education at the University of Helsinki. As a pedagogue, he has specialized in bowed string instrument improvisation and ensemble playing. These subjects he has taught on master classes in Poland and Spain, for example, and at the Sibelius Academy (Finland) as well. Poutiainen is the author of "Stringprovisation – A Fingering Strategy for Jazz Violin Improvisation" (2009). He has published extensively scholarly works on creativity, jazz history, jazz pedagogy, improvisation and music education. Recently he has added electric mandola and mandolin to his primary instrument selection and is working on a new jazz album that focuses on these.

Further information in the Internet at

Picture: Timo Klaavo

David Ramael

David Ramael is the very model of the modern conductor: enterprising, communicative, pioneering. He is the founder and artistic director of Boho Strings, an innovative string orchestra based in Borgerhout. With this ensemble he already has a remarkable track record in creating groundbreaking programs, aimed at making classical music more relevant in our current fragmented society.

Very important to him is to be as close as possible to his audience. With Boho Strings he therefore regularly organizes open rehearsals, where he gives listeners a look behind the scenes. He gives explanations before and during concerts, and is always ready for a meet-and-greet afterwards. In short, David is far from the old-fashioned ideal of the staid maestro.

David holds degrees in orchestral conducting and musicology, and has studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Universität Wien, and the University of Minnesota. For his studies in the US, he received the prestigious Belgian American Education Foundation scholarship.

His musical choices are primarily driven by a strong social commitment. In this way he wants to demonstrate that classical music still plays an important role in our society. An inspired vision brought in a sincere way. David is regularly invited as a guest conductor with orchestras at home and abroad. In Belgium he regularly conducts the Belgian National Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique Royale de Liège, and in 2022 he will also make his debut with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. He is also a welcome guest at Zomeropera Alden Biesen.

David lives with his wife in Borgerhout.In their spare time they enjoy walking in nature with Tor and Miss Moneypenny, their American Staffies.




Normunds Dreģis is the artistic director and conductor of Jāzeps Medinš Riga 1st Music School chamber orchestra Armonico, Latvia. He is also a chief conductor and the artistic leader of the Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Celebration joint symphony orchestras (since 2015).

Normunds Dreģis is a conductor and leader of many workshops with international youth orchestras in Latvia, Estonia and France. 

He has given concerts in Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Poland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and England.

Normunds Dreģis is founder and president of Latvian Orchestras Association, board member of European Orchestra Federation (since 2019) and an alderman of the Riga Latvian Society (since 2011). 

Conductor has collaborated with the Latvian National Opera and Ballet, Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra (Latvia), the New Rhine Chamber Orchestra (Cologne, Germany), South-Westphalen Philharmonie Orchestra (Germany), Emils Darzinš Music High School Symphony Orchestra (Riga, Latvia) and early music ensemble Ludus (Riga, Latvia).

Normunds Dreģis creative work, as well as his artistic contribution to the Latvian School Youth Song and Dance Celeboration has been awarded with the paper of honour by the Latvian Minisrty of Culture (2015), Ministry of Science and Education (2021, 2015), Riga City Council (2015, 2007). 

Conductor's repertoire includes more than 20 operas, ballets and operettas, some of which are W.A.Mozart Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, The Magic Flute, Bastien and Bastienne, G.Rossini Il barbiere of Seviglia, R.Wagner The Flying Dutchman, Das Rheingold, G.Bizet Carmen, P.Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin, E.Kalman Silva / Csardasfurstin, Joh.Strauss ballet The Blue Danube, L.Delibes ballet Coppelia, B.Asafjev ballet Fountain of Bakhchisaray, O.Hodosko ballet  Cinderella, J.Lūsēns The Birds’ Opera, Z.Liepinš opera Of rose and blood, K.Ewald Lysistrata, J.Nīmanis The return of Lysistrata.



Cathal Garvey initially studied violin and piano with Cork ETB and at the Cork School of Music, before reading Music at University College Cork. After completed his Master's Degree in Conducting, he then continued his violin studies at the College of Moscow Conservatory.

Having conducted musicals in Cork and Dublin, he went on to work on over fifty productions as Chorus Master or Assistant Conductor for most of Ireland’s major opera companies, including Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Anna Livia Opera Festival, Opera South and Lyric Opera.


In Dublin, he regularly conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Orchestra of St Cecilia, Dublin Symphony Orchestra, Irish Sinfonia, Dublin Baroque Players, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music Wind Ensemble. From 2001 to 2006 he was Principal Conductor of the Dublin Orchestral Players and from 2004 to 2009 was Musical Director of Dun Laoghaire Choral Society.


Cathal moved to the UK in 2009 to take up the position of Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor with Grange Park Opera. Since then, he has conducted London International Orchestra, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, Southern Sinfonia, Charivari Agréable, London Repertoire Orchestra, Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra, I Maestri, BYMT Staff Orchestra, London Medical Orchestra, Lambeth Orchestra and Morley College Choir. He is also Musical Director of Newbury Choral Society.


Cathal is founder and Artistic Director of the Ulysses Symphony Orchestra, from which he then formed its professional sister-orchestra, London Ulysses Orchestra, taking them on a six-city tour of China in 2017, including a performance in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. 


As a violinist, Cathal continues to play professionally across the south-east of England. He is on the Conducting staff of the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded an Honarary ARAM by the Academy in 2019.



Konstantin Dobroykov

            Konstantin Dobroykov is in the management team of State Opera Plovdiv since 2013 and is also one of its principal conductors. Since 2016, he is also the Principal Conductor for Sofia Record Factory, where he conducts the music for many films, TV series, and various contemporary composers’ projects. 2022 marks his debut with the “Sofia Soloists” Chamber ensemble; 2018 – his debut with the Sofia Philharmonic, and since 2016 he is also a regular guest-conductor of the National Radio Symphony Orchestra – Sofia and the Pleven Philharmonic. In 2014 he established and continues to maintain a close relationship with State Philharmonic Košice, where he has guest-conducted numerous concerts.

            In September 2019, Konstantin Dobroykov was invited to be a jury member for the first edition of the Almaty International Conducting Competition. Aside from his regular engagements in Bulgaria and Slovakia, he has conducted the Radio Symphony Orchestra-Bratislava, Sinfonietta Bratislava, Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, The National Ballet in Sofia, Ballet Arabesque. Between 2011 and 2013, Konstantin Dobroykov was the Assistant Conductor of the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra.

            Also an accomplished and highly acclaimed percussionist, Konstantin Dobroykov has seventeen years of experience as a percussionist in a large number of symphony orchestras around the world. He has performed under the baton of some of today’s most revered conductors – Sir Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and David Zinman among others.

            Born into a family of musicians, Konstantin Dobroykov started his musical education at the age of six at the “Dobrin Petkov” School of Music in Plovdiv, studying Percussion and Piano. After graduating from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 2003, he studied Percussion and Orchestral Conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In 2010, Konstantin Dobroykov received a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from University of North Carolina: School of the Arts, studying with Ransom Wilson. Three years of studies for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting at Boston University followed where his mentor was David Hoose.     

            Konstantin Dobroykov furthered his studies in a Masterclass with the distinguished conductor Daniele Gatti in 2018.