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Founder and Artistic Director of the renowned Montreal Chamber Music Festival (MCMF), Professor of Cello & Chamber Music and Conductor of the Orchestre à cordes at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (1989), cellist & conductor Denis Brott is recognized internationally as one of Canada’s finest musicians.
Brott’s tours have taken him to four continents as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He was cellist in the Orford String Quartet (1980-1988) during which time he recorded 25 CD’s including the complete string quartets of Beethoven, which won the Grand Prix du Disque du Canada Award and two Juno Awards for Best Chamber Ensemble Classical Recording. During his tenure the CBC named the Quartet among the top ten Canadian classical ensembles of the 20th century. Denis Brott has appeared as guest cellist with many of the world’s finest ensembles including the Guarneri, Emerson, Tokyo, Fine Arts, St. Lawrence and Dover Quartets.
Denis Brott is the recipient of the Great Montrealer Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his cultural contribution to Canada. In 2014, Canada’s Governor General bestowed upon him the Order of Canada for his outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. In December 2016, Denis Brott was invested into the Order of Montreal for his contribution to the international reputation of Montreal and his exemplary commitment to the community.
Denis’ teachers include celebrated cellists Leonard Rose, Janos Starker, and Gregor Piatigorsky. Early in his career he won a succession of competitions, including the Washington D.C. Merriweather Post Competition, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition, the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation Debut Award and the Munich International Cello Competition. He has been a jury member for numerous international competitions including the Munich Cello and Quartet Competitions and the Banff and Evian International String Quartet Competitions.
Denis Brott played a founding role in the creation of the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank (1987) which, in recognition, gave him a magnificent 1706 David Tecchler cello for his lifetime use.
Denis has served on the faculty of University of California Santa Barbara, North Carolina School of the Arts, Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Toronto, Royal Conservatory of Music and the Oberlin College of Music. Graduates from his class in cello and chamber music can be found in major symphonic and chamber orchestras and chamber ensembles in Canada and the United States. He has served on the faculty of numerous summer festivals including the Music Academy of the West, Banff Centre for Creativity, Orford Music Academy and Domaine Forget. In the fall of 2018, Denis became visiting professor at the Nederlandse Strijkkwartet Academie (NSKA) giving classes in string quartet performance.
Having survived a serious bout with Covid-19 in the spring of 2020, Denis bounced back creating the MCMF’s digital profile, A Festival Reimagined. He conceiving numerous innovative digital-based programs including A Day In The Life, Tchaïkovski, je vous aime !, Home From Away, and La Relève de chez nous (airing in the fall of 2021). The fall of 2021 will also see the Festival back on the concert stage with programs featuring some of the greatest artists in the world.