Charles Dutoit

October 7, 1936 - Lausanne (Switzerland)

© Decca / Nick White

Captivating audiences throughout the world, Charles Dutoit is one of today’s most sought-after conductors, having performed with all of the major orchestras on most stages of the five continents.

Presently Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, he recently celebrated his thirty-year artistic collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra, who in turn bestowed upon him the title of Conductor Laureate. He collaborates every season with the orchestras of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and is also a regular guest on the stages in London, Berlin, Paris, Munich, Moscow, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, amongst others.

Charles Dutoit’s more than 200 recordings for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips and Erato have garnered multiple awards and distinctions, including two Grammys.

For twenty-five years, he was Artistic Director of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic musical team recognised the world over. From 1991 to 2001, he was Music Director of the Orchestre National de France and in 1996, was appointed Principal Conductor – and soon thereafter Music Director – of the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), where he is now Music Director Emeritus. 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.

Charles 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 Sapporo Pacific Music Festival and Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan, as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou. In 2009, he became Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

When still in his early twenties, Charles Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera. He has since conducted at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera in New York, Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Rome Opera and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

In 1991, he was made Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia; in 1995, Grand Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec; in 1996, Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France, and in 1998, he was invested as Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2007, he received the Gold Medal of the city of Lausanne, his birthplace, and in 2014, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICMA (International Classical Music Awards).

He holds Honorary Doctorates from the universities of McGill, Montréal, Laval and the Curtis School of Music.

A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art and architecture, Charles Dutoit has travelled in all 196 nations of the world.

— Conductor Biography, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra