Boris Brott

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Boris Brott : biography

March 14, 1944 –

Family

Brott is married to author and attorney Ardyth Webster Brott and has three children. He makes his permanent home in Hamilton, Ontario.

Law School and Motivational Speechmaking

Brott studied law at the University of Western Ontario 1992-5, and in 1995 began giving motivational seminars to Fortune 500 companies using symphonic music as a metaphor. Brott has produced, conducted, or hosted a large number of television and radio programs for the CBC, and the BBC and ITV in the UK, and recorded with various orchestras for CBC, Mercury, Pro-Arte and Sony Classical.

Opera Conducting

A regular guest conducting schedule in Italy ramped up for Brott in the 21st century. He embarked on a notable guest conducting schedule at Italy’s famed opera halls, including the Teatro Petruzzelli, the Arena di Verona and the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste.

Development of Canadian Orchestras

Brott directed the Lakehead Symphony Orchestra (Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra) 1967-72 and the Regina Symphony Orchestra 1971-3. From 1969 to 1990 he was artistic director and conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra; under his leadership the orchestra grew from an amateur ensemble to a professional one with a 42-week season and 16,000 subscribers. The orchestra also gave birth to the Canadian Brass. It was during his tenure at the HPO that Hamilton enjoyed a cultural renaissance of sorts, moving quickly ahead of its dominant image as a steeltown. Brott and the HPO made international headlines and front pages when he became the first conductor to lead an orchestra in the middle of a steel factory blast furnace in the heart of Hamilton’s industrial core at Dofasco Inc.- now Arcelor Mittal. He gained a reputation as a fearless, charismatic maestro who brought visual elements, ballet dancers, Shakespearean actors, film, rock groups, even astronauts to the stages of classical music concerts. In 1975, he assumed directorship of the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra. From 1982 to 1985 he was artistic director of Symphony Nova Scotia. He led the Ontario Place Pops Orchestra 1983-1991. In 1977 he had made his opera debut, conducting Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment for the COC. Brott later directed Opera Hamilton and guest-conducted with the Canadian Opera Company and Sadler’s Wells Opera. Brott became music director of the New West Symphony, California, in 1995; in 2002, he took over leadership of the McGill Chamber Orchestra.