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Dutoit, Charles (Edouard)

Dutoit, Charles (Edouard)

Dutoit, Charles (Edouard), outstanding Swiss conductor; b. Lausanne, Oct. 7,1936. He took courses in violin, piano, and conducting at the Lausanne Cons., graduating at age 17. He then pursued training in conducting with Baud-Bovy at the Geneva Cons. (1st prize, 1958), with Galliera at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena (diploma, 1958), and with Munch at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summer, 1959). He was a choral conductor at the Univ. of Lausanne (1959–63), and then conducted the Lausanne Bach Choir. After appearing as a guest conductor with the Bern Sym. Orch. in 1963, he served as its 2nd

conductor (1964–66) and music director (1966–78). He also was chief conductor of the Zurich Radio Orch. (1964–66), assoc. conductor of the Zürich Tonhalle Orch. (1966–71), and conductor of the National Sym. Orch. in Mexico City (1973–75) and the Goteborg Sym. Orch. (1976–79). On Aug. 31, 1972, he made his U.S. debut conducting at the Hollywood Bowl. In subsequent years, he made extensive guest conducting tours of Europe, North and South America, Australia, Japan, and Israel. In 1977 he became music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, which gained international recognition under his guidance. He also was principal guest conductor of the Minn. Orch. in Minneapolis (from 1983). On Dec. 21,1987, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. conducting Les Conies d’Hoffmann. While retaining his position in Montreal, he also served as chief conductor of the Orchestre National de France in Paris (1990–2001). He likewise was chief conductor of the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) Sym. Orch. in Tokyo (from 1996). Dutoit’s extensive repertoire embraces works from the Baroque era to modern scores, but he has won a particularly notable reputation as a consummate interpreter of French music. He was married three times, his 2nd wife being Martha Argerich.


G. Nicholson, CD.: Le Maitre de Vorchestre (Lausanne, 1986).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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