March 22, 2013
Renowned for polished and idiomatic interpretations of an eclectic array of musical styles and since his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1980, Charles Dutoit has been invited each season to conduct other major orchestras of the United States, including those of Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Pittsburgh.
He has also performed regularly with all the great orchestras of Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as with all the London orchestras, the major orchestras of Japan, South America and Australia.
Charles Dutoit has recorded extensively for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, CBS, Erato among other labels with American, European and Japanese orchestras. His more than 170 recordings, half of them with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, have garnered over 40 awards and distinctions around the world.
For 25 years (1977 to 2002) Charles Dutoit was Artistic Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, a dynamic musical partnership recognized the world over.
He has also been closely associated with the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1990 as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestra's summer festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York and he led the Orchestra in a series of distinctive recordings.
From 1991 to 2001, Charles Dutoit was Music Director of the Orchestre National de France with which he made a number of critically lauded recordings, and toured extensively on the five continents. In 1998, he was appointed Music Director of the NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo) with which he has toured Europe, the United States, China and Southeast Asia and is today Music Director Emeritus of the Orchestra.
When still in his early 20's, Charles Dutoit was invited by Von Karajan to lead the Vienna State Opera. He has since conducted regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. He also led a highly acclaimed new production of Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens at the Los Angeles Music Center Opera.
In 2003, he began a series of Wagner operas - Der fliegende Holländer and the complete Ring Cycle - at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
Artistic Director for three seasons of the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival, Charles Dutoit is presently Artistic Director of the Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan as well as Artistic Director of the Canton International Summer Music Academy (CISMA) in Guangzhou (Canton), China which he founded in 2005.
Charles Dutoit also participated in a series of educational documentary films entitled Cities of Music produced by the NHK Television of Tokyo and which features ten musical capitals of the world.
In 1991, Charles Dutoit was made Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia. In 1995, the government of Québec named him Grand Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec and in 1996, he was invested as Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France. He is the recipient of two awards by the Canadian Conference of the Arts and in 1998, Charles Dutoit 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 history of music, composition, violin, viola, piano and percussion at the conservatoires 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 195 nations of the world. He maintains residences in Switzerland, Paris, Montreal, Buenos Aires and Tokyo.