Boris Brott | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Boris Brott

Boris Brott, conductor, violinist (born 14 March 1944 in Montreal, QC; died 5 April 2022 in Hamilton, ON).

Boris Brott, conductor, violinist (born 14 March 1944 in Montreal, QC; died 5 April 2022 in Hamilton, ON); son of Alexander Brott. After his debut as a violinist at age 5, youthful conducting studies and award-winning performances in prestigious conducting competitions, Boris Brott became assistant conductor of the Toronto Symphony (1963-65), then conductor of England's Northern Sinfonia at Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1964-68). Subsequent conducting posts included Lakehead Symphony (1968-72), Regina Symphony (1971-72), the BBC Welsh Orchestra (1972-79) and CBC Winnipeg Orchestra (1976-83). As well, he was artistic director/conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra from 1969 to 1992. Brott made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the Orchestra of the Americas in 1987, the year he was made Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1989 became co-conductor of the McGill Chamber Orchestra, and in 2000 its conductor. From 1983 to 1991 he was artistic director of Ontario Place Pops. In 1988 he began the Hamilton-based Brott Music Festival, Canada's only orchestral festival, and in 1989 founded the National Academy Orchestra (NAO). Recognized as a national school by Canadian Heritage in 1999, the NAO has trained over 1000 young musicians who have gone on to have successful careers in music.

From 1992 to 1995 Brott was artistic director of the Ventura County Symphony in California. In 1995 he became conductor of the New West Symphony. Since 1992 he has become well known for his motivational seminars, interspersing these with some 120 concerts annually in Israel, Europe and North America and with recording. Brott is known for his musicianship, artistic flair and innovative programming concepts, which have been successful in building audiences, not least in the domain of contemporary music. He has been writer-host-conductor of numerous TV and radio shows, 2 of which have been Ohio State Award winners.

In 2004, Brott became principal conductor of youth and education concerts for the National Arts Centre Orchestra (see National Arts Centre). Among his recent honours are as Officer of the Order of Canada (1986), member of the Order of Ontario (2006), City of Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Arts Award (2007) and the National Child Day award (2007) in Ottawa for his dedication to bringing classical music to school children.