Lotte Brott

Lotte (b Charlotte) Brott (b Goetzel). Cellist, administrator, b Mannheim, Germany, 8 Feb 1922, naturalized Canadian 1943, d Montreal 6 Jan 1998. Her parents were entrepreneurs who encouraged her to begin studying the cello at eight.

Brott, Lotte

Lotte (b Charlotte) Brott (b Goetzel). Cellist, administrator, b Mannheim, Germany, 8 Feb 1922, naturalized Canadian 1943, d Montreal 6 Jan 1998. Her parents were entrepreneurs who encouraged her to begin studying the cello at eight. To avoid Nazi upheavals, she was sent to Switzerland where she obtained her diploma at the Zurich Conservatory in 1939, studying with Emanuel Feuermann. In July 1939 she was reunited with her parents in Montreal, where she worked with Jean Belland, then with Zara Nelsova at the University of Toronto, both times on scholarship. She was a member of the MSO beginning in 1941, and in 1942 she succeeded Jean Belland as cellist of the McGill String Quartet, out of which grew the McGill Chamber Orchestra. She married Alexander Brott in 1943 and, in addition to her MSO and McGill Chamber Orchestra posts, freelanced with the CBC, working with John Newmark, Walter Joachim, and others; and, 1946-52, performed with the Little Symphony of Montreal. She taught cello at McGill University, and organized concerts and managed public relations and fund-raising, especially for the McGill Chamber Orchestra and other organizations of which her husband was artistic director. She also supervised the musical education of their sons Boris and Denis. With her husband she co-founded the Concerts Under the Stars series at Mount Royal and popular concerts at Maurice Richard Arena. She was manager of the Kingston Symphony 1978-81. She left the MSO in 1987, and continued as administrator with the McGill Chamber Orchestra until her death.

In 1988 Lotte Brott was created Dame of Grace in the Order of Malta, and in 1990 she was named a Member of the Order of Canada. The Quebec government named her a Chevalier of the Order of Quebec in 1996, citing her role in establishing corporate sponsorships for the arts. Her organizational ability has been credited for much of the success of the McGill Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra set up the Lotte Brott Memorial Fund to encourage young musicians.


Further Reading

  • Heller, Zelda. 'The Brott family,' Jmc, Aug 1966; repr as 'The Alexander Brott family: music, rare instruments and the sound of the telephone,' CanComp, 12, Nov 1966

    Schulman, Michael. 'The Montreal family Brott and its musical ramifications," PfAC, vol 13, Winter 1976

    Waller, Adrian. 'Bravo for the musical Brotts,' Reader's Digest, vol 42, Jan 1978

    Bailey, Bruce. 'First family of music,' Montreal Gazette, 15 Sep 1979

    Zadrozny, Ilse. 'Chamber orchestra's champion Lotte Brott makes sure things run smoothly.' Montreal Gazette, 8 Feb 1997

    'Lotte Brott: Boundless energy for music.' Ottawa Citizen, 10 Jan 1998