HAMILTON (CelebrityAccess) – Boris Brott, artistic director of the Orchestre Classique de Montreal and curator of the Brott Music Festival, died Tuesday (April 5) after a hit and run accident. He was 78.
Hamilton police were dispatched shortly after 10 am on Tuesday after reports of a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road on Hamilton Mountain. Approximately 20 minutes later, Brott was struck and taken to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, reported by The Globe and Mail. According to police, the driver fled the scene and was arrested following a brief car chase where the assailant damaged several police cars. Officers arrested a suspect near Elmwood and Garth after three officers, and the suspect was hurt and taken to the hospital. Ontario’s police have opened an investigation into the incident.
Brott was the music director and conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and a trained violinist. To spread his love of music beyond himself, he opened the National Academy Orchestra, a professional training orchestra based in Hamilton. The Brott Music Festival was considered the largest orchestral music festival in Canada, inaugurated in 1988.
Vintage Hamilton posted a photo of Brott via Facebook conducting to a floor of workers in hard hats at the Dofasco (factory) in the 1970s. It appeared as if he wanted classical music to be heard and appreciated by not just the affluent… but for all to hear and love it, as he did. “Who can forget when he brought classical music directly to the working people of Hamilton with an orchestral performance on the shop floor at Dofasco?” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger, referencing that picture.
“Boris Brott was a rock star of Canadian classical music,” says Larry LeBlanc, a senior journalist of CelebrityAccess. “He conducted for a high number of the orchestra in Canada and had a considerable following, most certainly had the respect of critics and the Canadian public. I worked with him several times, and he was most receptive to talking and understanding music from many sources, including pop and rock.”
Another Facebook post by the Hamilton Public Library shows Brott playing the violin down a busy Hamilton street, heading to the Board of Education offices to protest taking string instruments out of school.
Tributes for the renowned conductor, instrumentalist, husband, father, and friend after years of service to uplifting classical music and the city of Hamilton have been seen all over social media. “Hamilton is in “shock and grief,” said Eisenberger, who described the loss as “incomprehensible.”
His brilliance as a maestro was only surpassed by his kindness as a man. I join the world of music and all Canadians in mourning the loss of Boris Brott.
— Eugene Levy (@Realeugenelevy) April 6, 2022
The mayor shared his condolences for Brott’s family and announced a celebration of his life with details TBA.
Please see my complete statement on the tragic death of our beloved maestro, community champion, and proud Hamiltonian, Boris Brott.
— Fred Eisenberger (@HamiltonsMayor) April 6, 2022
Brott is survived by his wife, author Ardyth Brott and three children, Ben, David, and Alexandra.