Hamilton conductor Boris Brott dies at 78 after hit-and-run

Hamilton is mourning the tragic news that renowned conductor Boris Brott has died at the age of 78 after a hit-and-run incident in the Durand neighbourhood.

The Montreal-born Brott was one of the most internationally recognized conductors in Canada, and one of Hamilton’s foremost champions of classical music through his decades-long artistic directorship with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and his founding of the Brott Music Festival, which remains Canada’s largest festival of orchestral music.

On Tuesday morning, Brott was involved in a collision near Durand Park around Park Street and Markland Street, and rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Hamilton police have arrested a 33-year-old man in connection to two collisions, the first of which killed Brott less than a block from his home.

“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,” reads a message from the Brott Musical Festival on social media.

“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.”

Brott’s many storied achievements include being made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1986, and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2006; the same year he was also voted one of the top five greatest Hamiltonians of all time by readers of the Hamilton Spectator.

Brott’s sudden death has already had a massive ripple effect through Hamilton’s arts community and well beyond; a testament to the legendary conductor’s resounding impact.

Lead image courtesy of @brottmusicfestival

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