Charles Dutoit Named Chief Conductor Of Philadelphia Orchestra

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The Philadelphia Orchestra Association announced today that it has named internationally distinguished conductor Charles Dutoit to the newly-created position of chief conductor and artistic adviser. Mr. Dutoit, who has had an extensive relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra, will provide artistic leadership to the organization beginning in September 2008.

Mr. Dutoit has had a regular and fruitful relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra since his debut in 1980 and is a favorite of Philadelphia audiences, playing regularly to sold-out houses. Since 1990 he has been artistic director and principal conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra's summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Between 1990 and 1999, he also directed the Orchestra's summer series at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, and led the Orchestra in a series of distinctive recordings.

"I am so pleased that Charles Dutoit has agreed to expand his relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra," said Philadelphia Orchestra Association President James Undercofler. "We are indeed fortunate to have such a longstanding relationship with an artist of his stature. He brings with him not only a wealth of history with the Orchestra but a creative and lively artistic energy. I am particularly pleased that this appointment comes with the full support of the Orchestra musician leadership. We look forward to many fine concerts with Maestro Dutoit as part of this new collaboration. "

"As The Philadelphia Orchestra Association experiments with new and innovative ways of presenting and distributing concerts both here at home and around the globe, it is reassuring to know that we will be in good hands with Charles Dutoit," said Philadelphia Orchestra Association Chairman Harold A. Sorgenti. "I know he will be a partner to us as we move forward in these endeavors and I look forward to our deepening relationship with him."

"I am deeply honored and most pleased to be named to this new role with The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world's greatest musical institutions," said Charles Dutoit. "I have profound admiration for the talent and artistry of the musicians of the Orchestra, with whom I've had a very long relationship. I look forward to the opportunity to make music with them more often for Philadelphia audiences and to being a part of Philadelphia's rich musical community."

In his role as chief conductor and artistic adviser, Charles Dutoit will lead The Philadelphia Orchestra in up to eight weeks of concerts in Philadelphia in addition to performances at Carnegie Hall and on tour. He will continue his role as artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestra's annual three-week residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and will have the option to lead concerts when the Orchestra is in residence at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

In addition to advising the Orchestra on overall artistic issues, Mr. Dutoit will take on some administrative responsibilities for the organization. This will include participating in general Orchestra management, including the audition process, and representing the organization in Philadelphia and throughout the world as a partner in community relations and fundraising efforts. Mr. Dutoit will serve in the position of chief conductor and artistic adviser through the 2011-12 season.

The Philadelphia Orchestra will continue to develop its guest conductor roster, inviting both artists of international stature as well as those who are building their careers. In the 2007-08 season, recently announced by the Orchestra, Simon Rattle, Osmo Vänskä, James Conlon, Antonio Pappano, Leonard Slatkin, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Vladimir Jurowski, Robert Spano, and Stéphane Denève, among others, will guest conduct the Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association plans to formalize a process for its music director selection process this summer and will announce further plans at that time.

Biography of Charles Dutoit

Throughout a career that has energetically spanned the globe and mined the riches of orchestral repertoire, Charles Dutoit has exhibited a passion for excellence and insatiable discovery. Renowned for polished and idiomatic interpretations of an eclectic array of musical styles, he regularly collaborates with the world's pre-eminent orchestras and soloists.

Since his debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1980, Charles Dutoit has been invited each season to conduct all the major orchestras of the United States, including those of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. He has also performed regularly with all the great orchestras of Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as with all the London orchestras, the Israel Philharmonic, and all the major orchestras of Japan, South America, and Australia.

Charles Dutoit has recorded extensively for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, CBS, Erato, and other labels with American, European, and Japanese orchestras. His more than 170 recordings, half of them with the Montreal Symphony, have garnered more than 40 awards and distinctions around the world.

For 25 years (1977 to 2002), Charles Dutoit was artistic director of the Montreal Symphony, a dynamic musical partnership recognized the world over. From 1991 to 2001, he was music director of the Orchestre National de France with which he made a number of critically lauded recordings and toured extensively on the five continents. In 1996 he was appointed principal conductor and in 1998 music director of the NHK Symphony (Tokyo), with which he has toured Europe three times, as well as the United States, China , and Southeast Asia.

When still in his early 20's Charles Dutoit was invited by Herbert von Karajan to lead the Vienna State Opera. Mr. Dutoit has since conducted many times at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He also led a highly acclaimed new stage production of Berlioz's masterpiece Les Troyens at the Los Angeles Music Center Opera. In 2003 he began a series of Wagner's operas - Der fliegende Holländer and the complete Ring Cycle - at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

Mr. Dutoit's interest in working with young people has led to frequent collaborations with the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the Juilliard Orchestra in New York, the Civic Orchestra in Chicago, and the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. He was artistic director of the Sapporo Pacific Music Festival for three seasons and is presently music director of the Miyazaki International Music Festival in Japan and the Canton International Summer Music Academy (CISMA) in Guangzhou (Canton), China.

Mr. Dutoit has made 10 documentary films for NHK Television in Japan for a series entitled Cities of Music featuring 10 musical capitals of the world. In 1988 Charles Dutoit was invested as Officier, and in 1996 as Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France. In 1991 he was made Honorary Citizen of the City of Philadelphia. In 1995 the government of Quebec named him Grand Officier de l'Ordre National du Québec. He is the recipient of two awards by the Canadian Conference of the Arts, both in recognition of his distinguished service and exceptional contributions to music in Canada. In 1998 Charles Dutoit was invested as 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, Václav Havel, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

Charles Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, and his extensive musical training included violin, viola, piano, percussion, music history, and composition at the conservatories and music academies of Geneva, Siena, Venice, and Boston. A globetrotter motivated by his passion for history and archaeology, political science, art, and architecture, Charles Dutoit has visited and traveled in all 195 nations of the world. He maintains residences in Switzerland, Paris, Montreal, Buenos Aires, and Tokyo. -- www.philorch.org

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