Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Hamilton's Boris Brott Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Hamilton conductor, artistic director and motivational speaker Boris Brott. He passed away on April 5, 2022 as a result of a hit and run accident. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. 

Social Media Reaction

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the sudden and tragic passing of the one and only musical genius and Canadian artistic visionary Boris Brott. He will be sorely missed by all who appreciated his unsurpassed talent and by those who loved him. More details will be released later. As family and staff process this unthinkable news, we ask for privacy at this time.
Steve Paikin (Journalist) 
I saw him literally two days ago at a concert in Hamilton. We had a great chat about how he was still so engaged in his work, his music, and his family, and showed no interest in slowing down.  I've known Boris my whole life. The music world in general and Hamiltonians in particular mourn his loss

Lianne Cranfield 

My heart aches with profound sadness to hear this tragic news.  "Stay strong and optimistic..." were some of the last words written to me from Boris Brott just a few weeks ago, a man who has impacted my life and been connected to my family in many beautiful ways since I was young.

If you were a kid in the 80s, you would be sure to have gone to Hamilton Place to see this incredible man conduct the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.  My family also went regularly throughout my childhood to the children's series he put on at Hamilton Place-- it was my absolute favourite. 

Boris made the stories come fully alive with the music as he spoke to the children in the audience with such tenderness and love. It was so memorable.  I then shared the stage with Boris at Hamilton Place for a Hamilton fundraiser event during the years I had played Annie. 

In my teens, I worked as a waitress at Cleveland's house resort and for 2 weeks had the honour of being the daily server for Boris and his family.  I would get so caught up at the table chatting with him and his wife Ardyth, his beloved wife whom I absolutely admired.  During their stay at Cleveland's House, Boris took me out fishing for the day with his son when a storm came up quickly and at that moment, Boris' boat stalled and we were quickly drifting into the rocks.  Boris so calmly and stoically called out to shore, "Ahoy! ...... Ahoy!" ...   It was an incredibly joyful day as we were soon towed to shore and had such a good laugh. 

I stayed in touch with Boris for some time and my family continued to know him and connect with him in Muskoka.  Most recently, I felt so honoured when he reached out with a phone call after hearing my father had passed away.  Our conversation covered so much ground.   He wanted to know everything about my life and his compassionate eye for my losses warmed heart so much as he wished me true happiness and love in my life.  He told me how he had such a tender spot for my parents in his heart too and we promised we would keep in touch.  We had such a good laugh again that day. 

Since then we have emailed several times and he has helped me navigate some of my musical endeavours.  I was hoping to play with him one day, and even had a dream of playing at the Arts Centre in the Yukon with him.  His kindness was so natural and genuine.  His interest in the well-being of others so honest and true.  I felt so incredibly honoured to be back in touch with you, Boris Brott. 

Thank you for the music, for the genuine human connection and as you said about your own father just days ago on Facebook, you were also "the embodiment of kindness".  My heart goes out to Ardyth and the family, friends and colleagues and everyone who was impacted by such a gifted man, Boris Brott.  RIP Boris Brott.  Keep a watchful eye on us down here... Always in my heart. Ahoy! 

Sara Moody Veldhuis (Event Promoter)

I am very shocked and extremely saddened to hear the news of the tragic and senseless hit-and-run death of Canadian musical icon Boris Brott!  I have so many fond memories of working with him in the various roles we shared with each other. He was larger than life…so full of life and living…a true visionary!  He put the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra on the map, internationally, and did things with them that no other orchestra had done before.  

I am so glad to have been able to perform under his baton as a student, and to work with him through various projects as an adult.  My heart goes out to his family, his friends and the many musicians who have been touched by his artistry over his career.  May he RIP! 

Media Links

Links: Boris BrottMore Boris Brott Stories, Videos above courtesy of Boris Music Festival

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