The unexpected 2022 death of Boris Brott, the namesake of Hamilton’s Brott Music Festival, left big shoes to fill and not a lot of time to do it. Brott’s death occurred just a few months before the 2022 Festival was set to open.
It wasn’t long before renowned conductor Alain Trudel stepped in. A long-time friend of Brott’s and well-known for his passion and work with young musicians, there was no better person to step in without missing a beat.
Trudel’s and Brott’s history together spanned 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. Both maestros received many accolades for their work in family, youth and educational programming.
“I am humbled to join Brott Music Festival and continue Boris’ extraordinary contributions to music,” Trudel said upon his appointment. “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.”
Following a successful 2022 season, Trudel stayed with the Festival for 2023, again as Interim Artistic Director.
Earlier this week, Trudel announced his departure from the Festival and their National Academy Orchestra.
While he didn’t hesitate to step in when needed, “now the time has come for me to leave the place, leaving a sound financial and artistic situation, to the next person who will take over.” Trudel wrote in a social media post.
Despite departing from the Brott Festival, Trudel still holds many musical leadership titles. While serving as Interim Artistic Director of the Brott Festival, Trudel also held (and continues to hold) roles as Music Director of the Toledo Symphony and Artistic Director for the Toledo Jazz Orchestra; Music Director of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières; Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.
Trudel noted the dedication of his family and the Brott Festival staff in his departure, including Orchestra Manager & Music Librarian Megan Jones and Managing Director of BrottOpera, Topher Mokrzewski.
“It was a musical and human privilege to work with these musicians, some of Canada’s brightest.” Trudel wrote in his farewell. “I wish you all a beautiful continuation wherever music takes you.”
Plans for Trudel’s replacement have not yet been announced.