Charles Dutoit

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Charles Dutoit
Charles Dutoit (1984) by Erling Mandelmann - 2.jpg
Background information
Birth name Charles Édouard Dutoit
Born (1936-10-07) 7 October 1936 (age 80)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Conductor, pedagogue
Associated acts Gothenburg Symphony
Montreal Symphony
NHK Symphony
Orchestre National de France
Philadelphia Orchestra
Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Charles Édouard Dutoit, OC GOQ (born 7 October 1936) is a Swiss conductor, particularly noted for his interpretations of French and Russian 20th-century music. He has made influential modern recordings of Hector Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette and Maurice Ravel's ballets Daphnis et Chloé and Ma mère l'oye. He currently serves as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, studied there and graduated from the Conservatoire de musique de Genève, where he won first prize in conducting. Then he went to the Accademia Chigiana in Siena by the invitation of Alceo Galliera. In his younger days, he frequently attended Ernest Ansermet's rehearsals and had a personal acquaintance with him. He also worked with Herbert von Karajan at Lucerne as a member of the festival youth orchestra and studied with Charles Munch at Tanglewood. Dutoit began his professional music career in 1957 as a viola player with various orchestras across Europe and South America. In January 1959, he made his debut as a professional conductor with an orchestra of Radio Lausanne and Martha Argerich. From 1959 he was a guest conductor of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. After this, he was the conductor for Radio Zurich until 1967, when he took over the Bern Symphony Orchestra from Paul Kletzki, where he stayed for eleven years.

While head of the Bern Symphony, he also conducted the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico from 1973 to 1975, and Sweden's Gothenburg Symphony from 1975 to 1978. Dutoit was principal guest conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra in the early 1980s.

In 1977, Dutoit became the Artistic Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM). During his tenure, the recording profile and reputation of the OSM increased as he managed to make it one of the leading orchestras in the French-speaking world. Throughout these years, he called for a new symphony concert hall for Montréal, which would be announced by three prime ministers. Unfortunately, the promise would never materialize during his nearly 25 years at the helm of the OSM, even though the foundation stone was laid in 1985 by Premier René Lévesque, Mayor Jean Drapeau and Jacques Parizeau.[1]

Charles Dutoit has earned more than 40 international awards and distinctions, including two Grammy Awards (USA), several Juno Awards (Canada), the Grand Prix du Président de la République (France), the Prix mondial du disque de Montreux (Switzerland), the Amsterdam Edison Award, the Japan Record Academy Award, and the German Music Critics' Award. He and the OSM made many recordings for the Decca/London label.

Dutoit first conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1980. From 1990 to 1999, he was music director of the orchestra's summer concerts at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Since 1990, he has been the artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra's summer festival in Saratoga Springs, New York, a post he relinquished in August 2010. In 1991, he was made an Honorary Citizen of the city of Philadelphia. As of the 2012-2013 season, he became Conductor Laureate of the orchestra.

Since 1990, Dutoit has directed the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. From 1991 to 2001, Dutoit was Music Director of the Orchestre National de France, with whom he made a number of critically lauded recordings and toured extensively. In 1996, he was appointed principal conductor of Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra. In 1997, he was made an honorary Officer of the Order of Canada. He is also one of a handful of non-Canadian citizens to be a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

In February 2007, he was named chief conductor and artistic adviser of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for a contract of four years, effective September 2008.[2] In April 2007, Dutoit was named principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as of 2009.[3] Since July 2009 Dutoit has also served as the music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.[4]

In April 2014, Dutoit received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Classical Music Awards. He was also made an honorary member of Fondation Igor Stravinsky in Geneva.

In February 2016, Charles Dutoit will make an extraordinary and unexpected return to the helm of the OSM for two concerts presented by the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival, engendered by its founder Alain Simard, a personal friend of the Maestro. Making his first appearance in the new symphony concert hall that he so avidly sought for so long, Dutoit has selected a program assembling the works that marked his earliest success with the OSM,[5] featuring pianist Martha Argerich, his former wife, also part of their first international tour in 1981.[6] Over 3000 tickets sold out in just a few hours for the two historic concerts, which were announced a year in advance.[7]

Orchestras with whom he has recorded[edit]

• London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) DGG - PHILIPS – DECCA

• Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) DGG - DECCA - ERATO – RCA

• Philharmonia Orchestra, London DECCA - ERATO - EMI - CBS-SONY

• London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) DGG

• English Chamber Orchestra (ECO) ERATO - EMI Classics for Pleasure

• London Sinfonietta DECCA

• Bayerische Rundfunk Orchester München DECCA – ERATO

• Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam DECCA – EMI

• Boston Symphony Orchestra DGG

• Los Angeles Philharmonic DECCA


• Montreal Sinfonietta DECCA

• Philadelphia Orchestra DECCA

• NHK Symphony, Tokyo DECCA – SONY

• Orchestre National de France ERATO - DECCA -VIRGIN CLASSICS

• Orchestre de Paris ERATO

• Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France ERATO

• Solistes de l’Opéra de Paris ERATO

• Orchestre de la Suisse Romande DECCA – PENTATONE

• Orchestre de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo ERATO

• Göteborg Symphony, Sweden STERLING - CAPRICE – BIS

• Orchestra de la Svizzera Italiana EMI

• Norddeutsche Rundfunk Hamburg (NDR) NDR production


1982 - Musician of the Year, Canadian Music Council

1982 - Great Montrealer

1984 - Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Montreal

1985 - Docteur en Musique, University of Laval, Quebec

1988 - Canadian Music Council Medal

1988 - Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)

1991 - Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia

1994 - Diploma of Honor by the Canadian Conference of the Arts

1995 - Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Québec

1996 - Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)

1996 - Doctorem Musicae, McGill University

2002 - Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada

2003 - Prize to the best foreign Conductor 2002, Music Critic’s Association of Argentina

2007 - Médaille d’Or de la Ville de Lausanne

2009 - Artistic Advisor, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

2010 - Co-Director of MISA Festival, Shanghai

2011 - Doctor of Music, Curtis Institute, Philadelphia

2012 - Guangzhou Opera House (China) - Honorary Artistic Advisor

2012 - The Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia- Tribute

2014 - Lifetime Achievement Award - ICMA (International Classic Music Award), Warsaw

2015 - Honorary Member of the Igor Stravinsky Foundation, Geneva

2016 - Honorary Committee Member of the Maurice Ravel Foundation, Paris

2016 - Koussevitzky Artist, Boston Symphony Orchestra(Tanglewood)

2016 - Nanjing University of the Arts, China: Lifetime Honorary Professor

2016 - Special Contribution Award,18th Shanghai International Arts Festival

2016 - Lauréat 2016, Fondation Vaudoise pour la Culture,Lausanne

       2016 - Commander of the Ordre of Montreal 


• 1971 - Edison Award, Amsterdam (Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto, Martha Argerich, RPO)

• 1972 - Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros (Stravinsky The Soldier’s Tale)

• 1973 - Grand Prix Spécial du 25ème Anniversaire de l’Académie du Disque Français (Honegger Le Roi David, Solistes de l’Opéra de Paris)

• 1978 - Premio della Critica Discografica Italiana (Paganini 6 Concerti per violino, Salvatore Accardo, LPO)

• 1978 - Prix Caecilia de l’Union de la Presse Musicale Belge (Paganini 6 Concerti per violino, Salvatore Accardo, LPO)

• 1981 - Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros (Lalo, Caplet, Frédéric Lodéon, cello, Philharmonia Orchestra)

• 1981 - Grammy nomination (Chaminade, Ibert, etc, James Galway, flute, RPO)

• 1982 - Académie du Disque Français, Grand Prix du Disque (Fauré Pénélope, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo)

• 1982 - Prix Caecilia de l’Union de la Presse Musicale Belge (Fauré Pénélope)

• 1982 - Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros (Fauré Pénélope)

• 1982 - High Fidelity International Record Critics Award (IRCA) (Fauré Pénélope)

• 1982 - Grammy nomination (Fauré Pénélope)

• 1982 - Grammy nomination (Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Schumann Piano Concerto, Alicia de Larrocha, RPO)

• 1982 - Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros (Ravel Daphnis & Chloé, OSM)

• 1982 - Prix Mondial du Disque de Montreux (Ravel Daphnis & Chloé, OSM)

• 1982 - Prix Juno - Canada (Ravel Daphnis & Chloé, OSM)

• 1983 - Grand Prix du Disque, Canada (Ravel Daphnis & Chloé, OSM)

• 1983 - 21st Annual Japan Record Academy Award (Ravel Daphnis & Chloé, OSM)

• 1983 - Disque d’Or, Canada (Ravel Album, OSM)

• 1983 - Prix Félix (ADISQ) - Canada (Ravel Album, OSM)

• 1983 - Grand Prix de l’Académie du Disque Français (Saint-Saëns 5 Piano Concertos, Pascal Rogé, RPO, LPO, Philharmonia Orchestra)

• 1984 - Académie du Disque Français, Prix de la Musique Française (Saint-Saëns Symphony No 3 “Organ”, OSM)

• 1984 - Académie du Disque Français, Mention Spéciale (Chabrier Le Roi malgré lui, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France)

• 1984 - Académie du Disque Français, Grand Prix Audio-visuel de l’Europe (Honegger Symphonies No 3 and No 5, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Munich)

• 1984 - Disque de Platine, Canada (Ravel Boléro, OSM)

• 1984 - Académie du Disque Français, Prix Georges-Auric (Falla El amor brujo, Three- ornered Hat, OSM)

• 1984 - High Fidelity International Record Critics Award (IRCA) (Falla Album, OSM)

• 1984 - Prix Manuel De Falla, Granada (Falla Album, OSM)

• 1984 - Grammy nomination (Noël, Noël with Leontyne Price, OSM)

• 1984 - Prix du Concerto Français de l’Académie du Disque, Paris (Ravel Piano Concertos, Pascal Rogé, OSM)

• 1984 - Edison Award, Amsterdam (Ravel Piano Concertos, Pascal Rogé, OSM)

• 1985 - Gramophone Record Award (Engineering and Production) (Ravel Album, OSM)

• 1985 - Prix Juno - Canada (Ravel Album, OSM)

• 1985 - Prix Félix (ADISQ) - Canada - Record of the year (Stravinsky The Rite of Spring + Symphonies of Winds, OSM)

• 1986 - Grand Prix du Président de la République, Académie Nationale du Disque Français, (Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, OSM)

• 1986 - Stereo Review, Record of the Year Award (Chabrier Le Roi malgré lui, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France)

• 1986 - Prix José Bruyr - Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros (Honegger ymphonies No 2 and No 4, Bayerische Rundfunk, Munich)

• 1986 - Prix Félix (ADISQ) - Canada - Record of the year (Von Suppé Eight Overtures, OSM)

• 1987 - Gramophone Recording Award (Holst The Planets, OSM)

• 1987 - Grammy nomination (Holst The Planets, OSM)

       •       1987 - Prix Juno - Canada (Holst The Planets, OSM)

• 1987 - Prix Caecilia de l’Union de la Presse Musicale Belge (Roussel Symphonies, Orchestre National de France)

• 1987 - Prix Félix (ADISQ) - Canada - Record of the year (Tchaikowsky Album, OSM)

• 1988 - Edison Award, Amsterdam (Holst The Planets, OSM)

• 1988 - Mumm Champagne Classical Music Award (Holst The Planets, OSM)

• 1988 - Grand Prix du Disque, Canada (Holst The Planets, OSM)

• 1988 - Laser d’Or, Académie du Disque Français (Stravinsky Petrushka, Chant du Rossignol, 4 Études, OSM)

• 1988 - Grand Prix du Disque, Canada (Stravinsky Petrushka, etc, OSM)

• 1989 - Prix Juno - Canada (Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, OSM)

• 1990 - Prix Félix (ADISQ) - (Gershwin Album, Louis Lortie, piano, OSM)

• 1991 - Grand Prix de l’Académie du Disque, Japan (Debussy Album, OSM)

• 1991 - Prix Juno - Canada (Debussy Album, OSM)

• 1991 - Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Germany (Debussy Pelléas & Mélisande, OSM)

• 1991 - Prix Félix (ADISQ) - Canada - Best record of the year (Debussy Pelléas & Mélisande, OSM)

• 1992 - Prix Juno - Canada (Debussy Pelléas & Mélisande, OSM)

• 1992 - Grammy nomination (Debussy Pelléas & Mélisande, OSM)

• 1994 - Nouvelle Académie du Disque: Grand Prix Anniversaire Tchaikowsky, Paris (The Complete Nutcracker, OSM)

• 1995 - Palmarès des Palmarès, Nouvelle Académie du Disque, Paris (Berlioz Les Troyens, OSM)

• 1995 - Académie Française du Disque Lyrique, Orphée du Prestige Lyrique, Paris (Berlioz Les Troyens, OSM)

• 1995 - Grammy nomination for best Classical recording of the year (Berlioz Les Troyens, OSM)

• 1995 - Prix Juno - Best classical recording of the year (Berlioz Les Troyens, OSM)

• 1995 - Grammy: Best Opera Recording (Berlioz Les Troyens, OSM)

• 1995 - Grammy nomination, (Mussorgsky Pictures at an exhibition, OSM)

• 1996 - Grammy nomination (Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, OSM)

• 1996 - Prix Juno - Canadian Academy of Recording and Sciences (Shostakovich Symphonies No 5 and No 9, OSM)

• 1997 - Prix Juno - Canada - Best recording of the year (Berlioz Damnation de Faust, OSM)

• 1997 - Palmarès des Palmarès, Paris: Grand Prix, Nouvelle Académie du Disque (Berlioz Damnation de Faust)

• 1997 - Prix de l’Académie du Disque, Japan (Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique, OSM)

• 1997 - Prix de l’Académie du Disque, Japan (Debussy Album, OSM)

• 1999 - London / Decca Legends (Ravel Daphnis & Chloé, OSM)

• 2000 - Prix Juno - Canada (Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque, Impressioni Brasiliane, OSM)

• 2000 - Grammy: Best Soloist with Orchestra (Bartok Piano Concerto No 3, Prokofiev Concertos No 1 and No 3, Martha Argerich, OSM)

• 2002 - Prix Juno - Canada (Bruch 3 Violin Concertos, James Ehnes, OSM)

• 2004 - New York Times Best Classical Discs of the year (Theodorakis “Zorba”, OSM)

• 2007 - Grammy nomination (Franck Symphonic Variations, Saint-Saëns Piano Concertos No 2 and No 5, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Orchestre de la Suisse

               Romande  OSR)

• 2 Grammy Awards 1995 – 2000

• 9 Grammy nominations 1981-1982-1983-1984-1987-1992-1995-1996-2007

Personal life[edit]

Dutoit shuns publicity and protects his private life from the media. He has been married four times, including a marriage to the world-renowned concert pianist Martha Argerich, to the economist Marie-Josée Drouin, and to Canadian violinist Chantal Juillet.[8] His first marriage was to Ruth Cury, by whom he has a son, Ivan, who lives in Santa Monica, California with his family. He also has a daughter, Anne-Catherine, by his marriage to Argerich.

Select discography[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Dobrin, Peter (2007-03-03), "Positivity on the podium", The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. D01, ISSN 0362-4331 
  3. ^ Martin Cullingford, "Charles Dutoit takes over Royal Philharmonic Orchestra". Gramophone, 20 April 2007.
  4. ^ "Music Directors". Verbier Festival. Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Kaptainis, Arthur (2010-02-11), "Charles Dutoit marries Montreal-born violinist Chantal Juillet", The Montreal Gazette, archived from the original on February 15, 2010 

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Artistic Director, Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Kent Nagano
Preceded by
Alexander Rumpf
Principal Conductor and Music Director, NHK Symphony Orchestra
1996–1998 (principal conductor), 1998–2003 (music director)
Succeeded by
Vladimir Ashkenazy
Preceded by
Christoph Eschenbach (music director)
Chief Conductor, Philadelphia Orchestra
Succeeded by
Yannick Nézet-Séguin (music director)