Enter Alain Trudel, who was no stranger to walking alongside his equally musical friend and colleague.
On Tuesday at the FirstOntario Concert Hall, where many Brott Music Festival activities have taken place, renowned Canadian conductor Alain Trudel was named Interim Artistic Director to lead this summer’s program- and its many students- through the Festival’s thirty-fifth season.
“I am humbled to join Brott Music Festival and continue Boris’ extraordinary contributions to music,” said Trudel in a media release. “I can’t wait to get to know Hamilton and to meeting the wonderful audiences that the Festival has built over three and a half decades.”
The two conductors had a long history together, spanning over forty years. Their first introduction came when Trudel was a teenager performing with the McGill Chamber Orchestra- now the Orchestre Classique de Montreal– an ensemble founded by Brott’s father. As a talented trombonist, Trudel has even performed with the Orchestra and the Festival that he’s about to lead.
Like Brott, Trudel has received numerous accolades for his work with youth, families and education programming. Brott originated the title of Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra; a position Trudel held shortly after. Trudel spent many seasons as conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, conducted the National Youth Orchestra and has also held teaching positions as Western University and the University of Ottawa. Trudel is also no stranger to Hamilton, having conducted the Hamilton Philharmonic on several occasions, and has been considered a front-runner during the Orchestra’s past searches for Music Director.
Currently, Trudel is the Music Director of the Toledo Symphony, where he was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2020 for his work with the Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker. Trudel is also Music Director of l’Orchestre symphonique de Laval. His work has garnered him six Juno nominations, he has received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. In 2020, Trudel was named a knighthood of the province of Quebec, Chevalier de l’Ordre, a ceremony attended by his friends Boris and Ardyth Brott.
Trudel’s role as Interim Artistic Director will begin immediately- and not a moment too soon. The National Academy Orchestra begins their summer session on June 20 and will have ten days of intense rehearsals before the Brott Music Festival season opens. The Orchestra will also perform this season at Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound and the Collingwood Music Festival.
“I know how much Brott Music Festival, the National Academy Orchestra and Brott Opera means to Canadian musicians, emerging opera singers and the cultural identity of this City,” Trudel noted. “I will strive to live up to their extraordinary reputation.”
The thirty-fifth edition of the summer festival opens in FirstOntario Concert Hall on June 30 with a concert titled “The Unconquerable Soul: A Festival in Memory of Boris Brott.” Trudel will lead the National Academy Orchestra, the Bach Elgar Choir and soloists in Beethoven’s epic Symphony No. 9.