Currently artistic director and principal conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Dutoit recently celebrated his thirty-year artistic collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra, which bestowed on him the title of conductor laureate. Each season, he collaborates with the orchestras of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, and he also is a regular guest on stages in London, Berlin, Paris, Munich, Moscow, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
For twenty-five years, Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic musical team recognized the world over. From 1991 to 2001, he was music director of the Orchestre National de France; in 1996, he was appointed principal conductor, and soon thereafter music director, of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. Today, he is music director emeritus of that orchestra. He was music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season at the Mann Music Center for ten years and at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center for twenty-one years.
Dutoit’s interest in the younger generation has always held an important place in his career, and he has successively been music director of the Pacific Music Festival Sapporo and the Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan, as well as at the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou. In 2009, he became music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.
While in his early twenties, Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera. He has since conducted at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Rome Opera, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Dutoit is an Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia, Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec, Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2007, he received the Gold Medal of the city of Lausanne, his birthplace. He holds honorary doctorates from McGill, Montreal, and Laval universities and the Curtis Institute of Music. His more than two hundred recordings have won multiple awards and distinctions, including two Grammys.
Charles Dutoit’s musical training included violin, viola, piano, percussion, history of music, and composition at the conservatories and music academies of Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston.
Charles Dutoit made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in July 1982, conducting Mendelssohn’s Fingal’s Cave Overture, Haydn’s D major cello concerto with Yo-Yo Ma, and Stravinsky’s Firebird. He first appeared on subscription concerts at Orchestra Hall in June 2000, conducting Büsser’s orchestration of Debussy’s Petite Suite, Barber’s Violin Concerto with Itzhak Perlman, and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony. Dutoit most recently appeared on subscription concerts in April 2012, conducting Debussy’s Images for Orchestra, Dutilleux’s Tout un monde lointain. . . with Gautier Capuçon, and Ravel’s La valse.