The N.A.O & “Rousing Russians” Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon
“Rousing Russians” was the theme of the Brott Music Festival event at Mohawk College’s McIntyre Theatre, and the program (obviously) emphasized works by Russian composers. The series’ namesake was not present, but he left the helm of his National Academy Orchestra in the good hands of Guest Conductor Martin MacDonald, with help from apprentice Brendan Hagan.

What a night, and what an orchestra it was! The sound was rich, clear, precise and confident. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing these musicians in two very different venues, and in both situations been impressed with their power and range. More…

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N.A.O. tributes “KISS” & “QUEEN” Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
When the cat is away the mice will play.  On Saturday Boris Brott was away attending the wedding of his son. While he was away Brendan Hagan, his apprentice conductor, led the Brott National Academy Orchestra in a rock concert featuring the music of the rock groups KISS, and “Queen”.

Michael Shotton doing QUEEN

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“SUZUKI”, & Jean Grieve Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

I’m not really a Suzuki person, not a Norton or even a Harley-Davidson rider…my ‘cycle is a HONDA 750. Oops, wrong category, last evening’s concert at the Oakville Centre was about the renowned ‘SUZUKI METHOD’ of musical education; and a celebration of its 40 years here & the 80thbirthday of the woman responsible for establishing it in this community.

The SUZUKI performers under DeClara’s baton

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CROW (& N.A.O.) PLAY BRAHMS Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The fourth concert in the Brott Music Festival was played at St. Christopher’s in Burlington on Saturday evening with a continued emphasis on the works of Johannes Brahms.  This evening we heard two of the happier works, both in D major, Symphony No. 2 and the very popular Violin Concerto.
The evening opened with the National Academy Orchestra playing Symphony No. 2, a work in four movements which was conducted tag team by Maestro Brott for the first two movements and Apprentice Conductor- Brendan Haganfor the final two movements

conductors Hagen & Brott

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Serenaded By Strauss; entertained by N.A.O. Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Last evening, the National Academy Orchestra presented another concert in the Brott Summer Music Festival at St. Christopher`s Anglican Church in Burlington. This concert opened with Beethoven`s Egmont Overture conducted by trainee conductor Brendan Hagan.  The overture tells the story of the struggle for freedom of the Netherlands from the occupation of Spain in the sixteenth century.  This is a typical motif for Beethoven and one that allows his flair for a dramatic opening; reminiscent of his Fifth Symphony.

Artistic director Brott addresses his audience

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NAO’s “Double of Brahms” Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon

The 2nd concert of the BROTT SUMMER FESTIVAL – A Double of Brahms was a thoroughly satisfying evening of great music beautifully played, and listened to under conditions that I think were absolutely ideal. The evening began with the Fidelio Overture, a piece which is unmistakeably Beethoven. The concert programme announced it as his “middle period symphonic style” (that alone would get the rapt attention of this huge fan of the Fifth Symphony!). It was conducted by Brendan Hagan, Maestro Brott’s apprentice, and was a delight, allowing the mind to focus, the ears to tune, and something inside the listener to open up and receive the music. Like so many of life’s pleasure’s Fidelio seems too short!

Maestro Brott stepped back onto the conductor’s podium for Brahms’ Symphony No.3 in F major. Before lifting his baton to the orchestra, informed us, along with other things, that Brahms is interpreted in more than one way, depending partly on the size of the orchestra.

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