Chief conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2008, Charles Dutoit has been named conductor laureate beginning in the 2012-13 season in recognition of his 30-year artistic collaboration with the orchestra. Also artistic director and principal conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Dutoit regularly collaborates with the world's leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Israel Philharmonic orchestras. His more than 170 recordings on the Decca, Deutsche Grammophone, EMI, Philips and Erato labels have garnered more than 40 awards and distinctions.
For 25 years (1977–2002) Mr. Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. From 1991 to 2001 he was music director of the Orchestre National de France, with whom he toured extensively on the five continents. In 1996 he was appointed music director of Tokyo's NHK Symphony Orchestra, with which he toured in Europe, the United States, China, and Southeast Asia, and of which he is now music director emeritus. Mr. Dutoit has also been artistic director of both the Sapporo Pacific and the Miyazaki International Music Festivals in Japan as well as the Canton International Summer Music Academy, in Guangzhou, China, which he founded in 2005. He became the music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in 2009.
When still in his early 20s, Mr. Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct the Vienna Staatsoper. He has since conducted at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, The Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper, and Teatro Colón.
Charles Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and received extensive musical training in violin, viola, piano, percussion, history of music, and composition at the Conservatoires and Music Academies of Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston. He has been named honorary citizen of the City of Philadelphia, Grand Officier de l'Ordre national du Québec, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France, and 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.