Conductor loved bringing music to people

| Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, 11:09 a.m.

When it came to his music, Jacques Brourman had an intensity that showed in his face.

He was an orchestra conductor who directed the Boise Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the New Orleans Philharmonic.

“He was quite a powerful conductor,” said his son, Paul Brourman of Chicago. “He had a strength even in his expressions, but he also had a big heart. When it came to his family, he was tender.”

Jacques Brourman of Shadyside died Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. He was 84.

A son of Maier and Rose Brourman, he grew up in McKees Rocks and studied music at the former Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, in Oakland and the Juilliard School in New York.

He began his career as a violinist. His former wife, Audrey Brourman, was a pianist.

When he took over the philharmonic in Boise, it “only had 19 or 20 people. They barely had an orchestra,” Paul Brourman said.

In a few years, it grew into a full orchestra because of Mr. Brourman's talent for recruiting, his son said.

He helped found the Sun Valley Music Camp in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the Bedford Springs Music Festival in Bedford, Pa., which melded classical music with the outdoors.

“He loved bringing classical music to people,” said another son, Ronn Brourman of Shadyside.

Mr. Brourman was known for his stage presence, but his conducting style didn't distract from the music.

“He wasn't into showmanship. He was more about the substance,” Paul Brourman said. “He didn't try to add bravado or flair. It was about the music he made, not the theatrical flair.”

In addition to sons Paul and Ronn, Mr. Brourman is survived by another son, Jeff Brourman of Boise; five grandchildren; a brother, Harold Brourman of Los Angeles; and girlfriend Molla Zimmerman.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Ralph Schugar Chapel, 5509 Centre Ave., Shadyside. Visitation will be one hour before the service.

Tony Raap is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7827 or

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