October 7, 1936 - Lausanne (Switzerland)
© Decca / Nick White
In the 2010-11 season The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates its 30-year artistic collaboration with Charles Dutoit, who made his debut with the Orchestra in 1980 and who has held the title of chief conductor since 2008. With the 2012-13 season, the Orchestra will honor Mr. Dutoit by bestowing upon him the title of conductor laureate.
Also artistic director and principal conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Dutoit regularly collaborates with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Israel Philharmonic.
His more than 170 recordings for Decca, Deutsche Grammophone, EMI, Philips and Erato have garnered more than 40 awards and distinctions.
For 25 years (1977 to 2002), Charles Dutoit was Artistic Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic musical partnership recognised the world over.
Between 1990 and 2010, he has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra's summer festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York.
From 1991 to 2001, Charles Dutoit was Music Director of the Orchestre National de France with whom he has toured extensively on the five continents. In 1996, he was appointed Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo) with whom he toured in Europe, the United States, China and Southeast Asia. He is today Music Director Emeritus of this Orchestra.
Mr. Dutoit has been Artistic Director of both the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival and the Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy, in Guangzhou, China, which he founded in 2005. As of the summer of 2009, he became the Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.
When still in his early 20’s, Charles Dutoit was invited by Von Karajan to conduct the Vienna State Opera. He has since conducted at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Deutsche Oper in Berlin and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
In 1991, Charles Dutoit 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 , the country’s highest award of merit whose other honorary recipients include John Kenneth Galbraith, James Hillier, Nelson Mandela, The Queen Mother, Vaclav Havel and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Charles Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and his extensive musical training included violin, viola, piano, percussion, history of music and composition at the Conservatoires and Music Academies of Geneva, Siena, Venice and Boston.
A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art and architecture, Charles Dutoit has traveled in all 196 nations of the world.