Charles Dutoit is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also Music Director Emeritus of the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, having been appointed music director there in 1996. From 1990 to 2010 he was artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra's summer concert series at the Saratoga Festival of the Performing Arts in upstate New York; he recently celebrated his thirtieth year of artistic collaboration with that orchestra, which has just appointed him Conductor Laureate. Mr. Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for twenty-five years—from 1977 to 2002—leading that ensemble on more than three dozen international tours, with performances in virtually every major concert hall in the world, as well as appearances at the Hollywood Bowl, Ravinia, and Tanglewood. He served as music director of the Orchestre National de France from 1991 to 2001 and is currently Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in his native Switzerland.
Since his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1980, Charles Dutoit has conducted most of the major orchestras in the US, Europe, Japan, South America, and Australia. He made his Davies Symphony Hall debut in 1981 leading the Montreal Symphony, and he led his first concerts with the San Francisco Symphony in 1985. He has returned as part of the SFS Great Performers Series with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He returns next week to lead the San Francisco Symphony and SFS Chorus in Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and Berlioz’s Te Deum. Mr. Dutoit’s opera engagements include performances at the Vienna State Opera (where he was invited to conduct when he was in his early twenties by Herbert von Karajan), Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Charles Dutoit’s commitment to education has resulted in frequent collaboration with students and the orchestras of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, as well as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He was Artistic Director of the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival for three seasons and served as Music Director of the Miyazaki International Music Academy in Japan and the Canton International Summer Music Academy, which he founded in Guangzhou, China, in 2005. Mr. Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1936, and studied at conservatories in Geneva (where he won first prize in conducting), Siena, Venice, and at Tanglewood. He is a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France and Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Québec. In 1991 he was made an honorary citizen of the city of Philadelphia, and in 1998 he was named Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest award of merit. Mr. Dutoit was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Curtis Institute in May 2011. His more than 200 recordings on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, CBS, and Erato have garnered more than forty awards and distinctions. A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art and architecture, he has traveled all nations of the world.