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Charles Édouard Dutoit, OC, GOQ (born 7 October 1936) is a Swissmarker 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'Oie.


Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerlandmarker, studied there and graduated from the Genevamarker Conservatory where he won first prize in conducting, then he went to the Music Academy in Sienamarker 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 Lucernemarker as a member of the festival youth orchestra and studied with Charles Munch at Tanglewoodmarker. 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. He 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 resigned from the Montreal Symphony in April 2002 after a bitter dispute with the musicians' union.

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 Artsmarker. Since 1990, he has been the artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra's summer festival in Saratoga Springs, New Yorkmarker. In 1991, he was made an Honorary Citizen of the city of Philadelphiamarker.

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 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 In April 2007, Dutoit was named principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as of 2009. In October 2008, Dutoit was appointed Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra from July 2009.

Personal life

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


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