Charles Dutoit

Charles Dutoit

1982 Cultural Cultural

Charles Dutoit was made a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 1995 for his inspired musical direction of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and for launching the orchestra onto the international scene.

Artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for 25 years, Charles Dutoit made a major contribution to Québec’s musical life and its dissemination abroad.

Charles Dutoit was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1936. He received his musical training at the conservatories of Lausanne and Geneva, where in 1958 he earned First Prize in orchestra direction.

After getting his start in Europe as a conductor, he was made artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), a position he held until 2002. Under his direction, the OSM became one of the leading orchestras in the world, touring extensively in the United States, Europe, Japan and South America.

Charles Dutoit has conducted some 150 orchestras in North America and Europe. He was the musical director of the Orchestre national de France from 1990 to 2001 and then principal conductor and musical director of Tokyo’s NHK Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2003. In 2007, the maestro was made head of the Philadelphia Orchestra for a four-year contract beginning in 2008. He was also made principal conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in the 2009-10 season.

In 1982, Mr. Dutoit was named musician of the year by the Canadian Music Council. He received the Canadian Music Council medal (1988), an honorary diploma from the Canadian Conference of the Arts (1994) and honorary doctorates from McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université Laval. He is one of the rare honorary Officers of the Order of Canada and has been a member of the academy of Great Montrealers since 1982.

Source: Ordre national du Québec

Photo Credit : Archives de l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal