R. Scott Bakker is the son of a tobacco share-cropper, and spent his youth either exploring the wooded bluffs of Lake Erie's north shore or working in hot summer fields. He left the countryside to study English language and literature at University of Western Ontario, and from there moved to Nashville to pursue a PhD in philosophy. He now lives in London, Ontario with his fiancee, Sharron, and their cat, Scully.
Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942, educated in Rome and made his piano debut at the age of eight and as a solo pianist at the age of eleven with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. His musical tours have taken him all over the world and he has made regular appearances at the Bayreuth, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Prague and Salzburg festivals. In 1967 he married the cellist Jacqueline du Pré (who died in 1987). In 1988 he married Elena Bashkirova. He was musical director of the Paris Orchestra 1975-88, and he has been Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1991 and of the Berlin State Opera since 1992.
Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com
Barry Bostwick is an American actor and singer. He is best known for playing Brad in the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and has also had considerable fame in musical theatre.
Tina Brown is an award-winning writer and editor and the founder of the Women in the World summits. Between 1979 and 2001 she was editor successively of TATLER, VANITY FAIR and THE NEW YORKER. She is the author of the 2007 bestselling biography of the Princess of Wales, THE DIANA CHRONICLES. In 2008 Brown founded THE DAILY BEAST, and in 2014 launched Tina Brown Live Media to expand Women in the World internationally. She is married to editor, publisher and historian Sir Harold Evans and lives in New York City.
John Browne (Lord Browne of Madingley) was born in Germany in 1948 and joined BP as a university apprentice in 1966. He was Group Chief Executive of BP from 1995 to 2007, where he built a reputation as a visionary leader and was regularly voted the most admired businessman by his peers. He was knighted in 1998 and made a life peer in 2001. He is now a managing partner of Riverstone LLC, an international energy private equity firm, a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Tate Gallery.