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

Charles Édouard Dutoit, OC GOQ (born 7 October 1936) is a Swiss conductor. He is currently the artistic director and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor laureate of the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor emeritus of the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo. He is the former music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France and as of 2017, conductor emeritus of the Verbier Music Festival 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 Karajan at Lucerne as a member of the festival youth orchestra and studied 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 did not reach fruition during his OSM tenure.[1] Dutoit resigned from the Montreal Symphony in April 2002, with immediate effect, after a dispute with the musicians' union.[2][3] He did not return to the OSM as a guest conductor until 2016, in a concert at the new Maison Symphonique de Montréal.[4]

Dutoit has earned more than 40 international awards and distinctions, including two Grammy Awards (United States), 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. From 1990 to 2010, he was artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra's summer festival in Saratoga Springs, New York. In 1991, he was made an Honorary Citizen of the city of Philadelphia. In February 2007, Dutoit was named the orchestra's chief conductor and artistic adviser, for a contract of four years, effective September 2008.[5] Following the conclusion of his contract in Philadelphia in 2012, the orchestra named him its conductor laureate, as of the 2012–2013 season.[6]

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 April 2007, Dutoit was named principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as of 2009.[7] In 2019, he is scheduled to stand down as the RPO's principal conductor and to take the title of Honorary Conductor for Life of the orchestra.[8] Since July 2009, Dutoit has also served as the music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. 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.

Orchestras with which 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
  • 2017 - Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal


  • 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.[9] His first marriage was to Ruth Cury, by whom he has a son, Ivan, who lives in Santa Monica, California with his family. Ivan has 2 children's: Anne-Sophie and Jean-Sebastian. He also has a daughter, Anne-Catherine, by his marriage to Argerich.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Krauss, Clifford (2002-04-18). "Dissonance In Montreal; Dealing With the Aftermath Of a Rare Orchestral Uprising". New York Times. New York Times Company. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  3. ^ Chan, Wah Keung. "The Dutoit Affair: Cause and Solution". La Scena Musicale. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  4. ^ Arthur Kaptainis (2016-02-19). "Charles Dutoit's OSM comeback a joyous affair". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  5. ^ Dobrin, Peter (2007-03-03), "Positivity on the podium", The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. D01, ISSN 0362-4331 
  6. ^ David Patrick Stearns (2016-01-24). "Q&A with Yannick Nézet-Séguin: The Phila. Orchestra season, risks, and tradition". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  7. ^ Martin Cullingford, "Charles Dutoit takes over Royal Philharmonic Orchestra". Gramophone, 20 April 2007.
  8. ^ "Maestro Charles Dutoit appointed Honorary Conductor for Life" (Press release). Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  9. ^ 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
Alexander Rumpf
Principal Conductor and Music Director, NHK Symphony Orchestra
1996–1998 (principal conductor), 1998–2003 (music director)
Succeeded by
Vladimir Ashkenazy