Charlotte Observer arts writer Lawrence Toppman posted a tribute to a former Charlotte Symphony Orchestra music director, Jacques Brourman, who set that organization on a professional course. Brourman died earlier this year at age 84. Toppman researched Brourman’s career after his death, and found Brourman’s contributions to that orchestra’s evolution were key to its current success.
But before Brourman led the Charlotte orchestra, he made huge contributions to the classical music scene Idaho.
He was the first conductor of the then newly coined Boise Philharmonic. He served from 1960 to 1967. Before 1960, the organization was known as the Boise Civic Symphony.
Brourman, the son of Romanian immigrants, pioneered the Philharmonic’s focus on education with the “Young People’s Concerts” series, he broadened the groups repertoire, and forged partnerships with then Boise Junior College (now Boise State University) and College of Idaho that continue today. He also conducted performances of “Madama Butterfly” in Boise and Twin Falls, according to his son Ronn, who lives in Pennsylvania. It was the first full length opera staged in Idaho, he says.
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Brourman and his wife Audrey founded and ran the Sun Valley Music Camp & Festival from 1960 to 1970.
It’s important to the health of an organization remember and honor the contributions of past, especially as it prepared to move into a new future, says former Boise Phil executive director Tony Boatman.
Boatman is on the search committee for the philharmonic’s next music director.
“With each successive generation, the philharmonic music directors stand on the shoulders of their predecessors,” Boatman says. “Through his artistry and creativity, Jacques laid a foundation that the philharmonic has been building on ever since.”
Brourman was in Boise in 2006, when James Ogle announced he would step down. Brourman was here to visit his son Jeff, owner of WestVet Animal Emergency Center in Garden City. Brourman came on stage at the beginning of a concert with former philharmonic music director Daniel Stern to pay tribute to Ogle.
“I remember he was a very tall and stately gentleman,” Boatman says. “When I went back and looked at what he’d done, I was like, ‘Wow, he did that?’ He was a very creative guy.”
Jacques Brourman left Boise for Charlotte in 1967, handing the Boise Phil’s reins to Mathys Abas. A decade later, Stern, who now is artistic director of Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra, stepped into the role, followed by Ogle in 1987 and Robert Franz in 2009.
Read more about the Boise Philharmonic’s history here.
Franz stepped down at the end of this past season. Next season audiences will hear the seven music director candidates lead the orchestra.
Boise Philharmonic 2016-’17 season
▪ Keitaro Harada, pianist Kevin Cole and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue: Nov. 12 and Nov. 13
▪ Holiday Pops (a guest conductor to be announced): Dec. 9-10
Find season ticket information at BoisePhil.org and by calling 344-7849.