Kudos to Hamilton’s Brotts; well-deserved 3

Review by Terry Gaisin

reviewer_TerryPaul Simon wouldn’t have dreamed of it; Neil Diamond – never. Natalia Makarova couldn’t imagine going ‘on-pointe’ and Led Zeppelin remained on their trio of tushes during tributes at the Kennedy and Lincoln Centres. But not our Boris!  As this year’s Hamilton J.N.F. Negev Dinner honouree; Maestro Brott rather than being entertained; left his co-recipient Ardyth at the head table and took to the podium to delight those of us in attendance by conducting the National Academy Orchestra.

The Brotts receiving a plaque from the J.N.F. & event officers

The Brotts receiving a plaque from the J.N.F. & event officers

See alternative opinion about protest – “Letters to the Editor”

The Brotts; Boris & Ardyth; have brought respect; honour and acclaim to our city. Both would be immediately welcome in any city of the world… him for his music; her for her dedication; intellect and personal charm. Instead, they’ve remained in Steeltown and for that, all of us ‘hammerheads’ are truly appreciative. This appreciation was iterated multiple times by representatives of all levels of Government; the community; their extended family and the audience.
Traditionally, a Negev Dinner is also a fundraiser for positive projects. This year the proceeds will help the construction of a conservatory recital hall in Arava; a small town in Israel’s desert. Like it has done for its 65-year history; the State still endeavors to turn sand dunes into a ‘land flowing with milk and honey’. With this new edifice; it will also be an area of culture and sustenance for the soul…something endemic to the Brott’s life philosophy.
The concert opened with a collage composed by Stephen Glass that incorporated the ‘ta’am’ or intrinsic taste of Judaism. Then, a cantorial interpretation from the Sabbath liturgy sung with emotion and pure soprano tonality by Sharon Azrieli Perez. Then she presented the traditional Jerusalem of Gold during which she encouraged her audience to join those already singing the chorus. Brott introduced the Israeli clarinet-playing brothers – Duo Gurfinkel; who’s teasing & playful rendition of Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was both creative and fun. Their interpretation of Saint-Saens rondo Capriccioso was remarkable, given the composer’s intention of creating the work for violin. Sorry, Boris, I can’t find any reference to him being Jewish; but…given his penchant for intellectual success in many diverse fields; I could believe he was Chinese!
There were also some comedic moments; M.C. David Brott admitting to having at one time thought his Dad was a spy; given the various guests and celebs that would visit. Also, there were about ten protesters at the entrance to the Convention Centre blaming us guests for the tribulations those poor Jihadists suffer in Gaza & Palestine.

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3 comments

  1. Dear Ms Gaisin,

    Thank you for these reviews which you and your husband, Danny, share with your readers.

    I recall the thoughtful review that Danny did for a talk which Rabbi Baskin offered at Westdale United Church where I am a minister.

    In regard to the above review, I appreciate your capturing the spirit of an evening for such a deserving and noted Hamiltonian in Boris Brott.

    What was unfortunate for me was to read the dismissive and stereo-typing-like way in which you characterized the protesters outside the Convention Centre.

    They were there not to dishonor Maestro Brott, or the arts. They were present to challenge even the beauty of the arts when used as a cover to ignore human rights violations.

    The JNF enables the creation of illegal settlements/and settlement land cultivation.

    Noble as the goal is for building a Concert Hall (from the evenings proceeds) it is a Concert Hall for Beit Ha’arava which is in the middle of Oslo Accord determined Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

    The protesters were not protesting the arts, they were raising their legitimate voice for a fund that contributes to the expulsion of their people and land. No more, no less.

    They also did so lawfully and with the consultation of the Officers present, who spoke of appreciating that they came to speak with them, so that their voices could be heard, and the boundaries of the concert not be encroached.

    Neither the protest, or the people they were seeking to protect ‘back home’ , were anything close to being ‘jihadist’ as you characterized them.

    In closing may I ask that your thoughtful nuanced writing when it comes to reviewing the arts also demonstrate the same when it comes to politics and free speech.

    Thank you for reading this, and affording me the chance to write it through this ‘reply’ option to you.

    I do not share what I have written, lightly, but in hopes of raising a legitimate point alongside your otherwise good writing.

    I also share what I have written here on the strength that I was present that evening myself, outside the Convention Center, standing alongside these protesters.

    Sincerely

    Rev Andy Crowell

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