'Beloved maestro' Boris Brott dies after being hit by car in Hamilton


A prominent Canadian conductor and artistic director has succumbed to his injuries after he was struck by a car in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Hamilton police say the man was hit by a car on Park Avenue South at Markland Street and was transported to hospital, where he later died.

He has been identified as 78-year-old Boris Brott.

Police say the driver fled the scene and was arrested on Elmwood Avenue near Garth Street.

They say three police officers and the accused were taken to hospital for injuries during the arrest.

The Special Investigations Unit is looking into the circumstances of the arrest, according to the police. 

"Boris was tragically killed earlier today when he was struck by a car in Hamilton," the Orchestre classique de Montréal (OCM) said in a statement Tuesday night.

"Boris Brott was the beating heart of the Orchestre Classique de Montréal, a renowned leader in the world of classical music in North America and beyond, a mentor to countless young musicians, and a very dear friend to so many."

"His sudden passing thus leaves a deep void in our musical community, and a profound sadness in our personal lives."

In a statement late Tuesday, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger offered condolences to Brott’s family and called him “our beloved maestro.”

Statement by Mayor Fred Eisenberger on the death of Boris Brott


I join all Hamiltonians and everyone in the international music and arts community in grief, shock, and sadness on the news of the tragic and senseless death of our beloved maestro, Boris Brott. 

Boris was not only a giant in the classical music world, he was also a giant for promoting and building Hamilton and his efforts over decades helped lift our community to new heights. 

As an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, the founder of orchestras and the world-renowned Brott Music Festival, Boris led performances before royalty and the Pope and was sought after by prestigious music institutions all over the world.

But above all Boris was a Hamiltonian and a man of the people through and through. Who can forget when he brought classical music directly to the working people of Hamilton with an orchestral performance in the Dofasco steel making plant? He also brought thousands of school children to his annual concert with performances planned just for them. He literally brought music to the people.

Boris brought to Hamilton a sense of style and sophistication like no other and has mentored so much talent. 

Boris loved and was committed to Hamilton and its people, and we loved him back even more. It was this mutual love that led to Boris being voted as one of the greatest Hamiltonians of all time. 

Throughout the pandemic lockdowns, when music became more important than ever, Boris continued to bring music to the people, producing online concerts for the public. Even recently, his drive to combine community service and his talent led Boris to plan a benefit concert to aid Ukrainians suffering from the current war with Russia.

Boris leaves a legacy of musical excellence and humanitarianism that is unmatched. It is a void for Hamilton that cannot be ever filled. Such a tragic loss! 

Our deepest condolences go out to Boris’ wife, Ardyth Webster Brott, their children and the numerous friends and colleagues he amassed over the years.