Tributes poured in following the news of the death of maestro Boris Brott, artistic director and conductor of the Orchester classique de Montréal, who died Tuesday after a hit-and-run in Hamilton. He is 78 years old.
Orchestra shared the news in Facebook post who call it “heart and soul”.
“The entire OCM family is in a state of shock and disbelief,” the orchestra leader said in the post.
“[He was] an outstanding classical music ambassador, known beyond our borders, a mentor to countless young musicians and an excellent friend to many of them. His sudden death left a deep void in the music community and great sadness in our hearts.”
VIEW | Brott worked in 2013:
Brott is a classical music titan, both in Canada and internationally. Born in 1944, he is the founding artistic director of the Brott Music Festival and the National Academy Orchestra, a training orchestra also based in the city.
“He will be sorely missed by all who appreciated his matchless talent and by those who loved him,” Brott Music Festival said in a Facebook post.
Brott, who has appeared for Pope Francis more than once, has also held posts in Europe and the United States during his career. He became an officer of the Order of Canada in 1986.
“The Brotts are musical royalty in Canada, and it’s been one of my greatest honors to have known them as friends and working with Boris for nearly 20 years,” classical pianist Sara Davis Buechner write on Facebook. Buechner remembers doing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concert with Brott in the fall.
“My condolences go out to all of Boris Brott’s family, friends around the world, and the many fortunate people to hear of his majestic performance during his long and incredibly creative life.”
Brott started his life in Montreal. Her parents are Alexander Brott, a violinist and composer who founded the orchestra that became OCM. Her mother is cellist Lotte Brott, and her sister is cellist Denis Brott.
A motivational speaker and cultural ambassador, Brott is also a member of the Order of Ontario and an officer of the Order of Quebec.
Brott received an honorary doctorate from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in 2013.
“Coffee aficionado nerd. Troublemaker. General communicator. Gamer. Analyst. Creator. Total brew ninja.”