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Charles Dutoit

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NEWS
February 23, 2007 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
Charles Dutoit, a frequent Philadelphia Orchestra guest conductor since 1980, has been named to succeed its departing music director, Christoph Eschenbach. Dutoit - former leader of orchestras in Montreal and Japan - will assume the newly created title of chief conductor and artistic adviser for four seasons, beginning in September of 2008. Dutoit has been the orchestra's music director at the Saratoga summer season, which he will continue, and will also lead eight weeks in each subscription season.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2007 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Call it the Kurt Masur Syndrome. The news that Charles Dutoit will become artistic director of the London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) is his second major appointment in two months - the other being the Philadelphia Orchestra. At age 70, the former head of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra follows the pattern of Masur, who considered winding down after leaving Leipzig, only to be snapped up by the New York Philharmonic and Orchestre National de France. The RPO appointment starts in 2009, appears to be open-ended, and seems more permanent than his four-year, 2008-12 Philadelphia Orchestra appointment.
NEWS
June 14, 1999 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
A warm summer evening with an occasional breeze, a blanket with a picnic basket and the gorgeous sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra to share the sunset. For thousands of music lovers, lovers and even prospective lovers, it's the highlight of summer in the city, provided by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts as a cultural bargain. Tonight, Charles Dutoit celebrates his 10th season as artistic director at the Mann with an all-Beethoven program featuring the Seventh Symphony and the Leonore No. 3 Overture, with pianist Emanuel Ax as soloist in the Third Concerto.
NEWS
August 14, 2010 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Any fete for Charles Dutoit would necessarily involve a certain amount of frisson, and Thursday night, in capping the conductor's 21 summers leading the Philadelphia Orchestra's concerts here, it came in bubbly form. At a preconcert talk, there was champagne. For the audience at intermission, champagne. With musicians backstage after this last Dutoit concert as artistic chief of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center - real champagne. "The greatest conductor in the world," declared Marcia White, SPAC's president, as she brought Dutoit out for what she said was his 182d concert at this horse-racing resort town where the orchestra has spent part of every summer since 1966.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2008 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
In some cities - Los Angeles and Chicago come to mind - a music director gets hired after leading a program or two. In more risk-averse Philadelphia, things can take a little longer. Charles Dutoit has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra more times than anyone else in its history save Eugene Ormandy, president James Undercofler told Thursday night's Verizon Hall audience. In fact, that's not true, an orchestra spokeswoman said yesterday, but Dutoit has visited the orchestra hundreds of times, which earned him the right, finally, for the first time, to take the podium Thursday as the orchestra's new - well, we'll get to that title in a moment.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2007 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Fifteen minutes before rehearsal at Carnegie Hall Thursday afternoon, Charles Dutoit is already on stage chatting up the players. He's a hugger, and if you're not careful, a triple-smack cheek-kisser. Back in the woodwinds, his elegant right hand takes flight for a moment to make a point about phrasing. He is smiling from ear to ear. The players of the Philadelphia Orchestra aren't exactly unhappy either. No ensemble of 100-plus musicians will express unison like or dislike for any one conductor.
NEWS
August 2, 1999 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
Since conductor Charles Dutoit announced his retirement as Mann music director at the final summer concert July 22, surprising musicians and audience alike, local music-lovers have wondered why. Too emotional to talk about his reasons after that concert, Dutoit postponed discussing the matter until expressing his feelings to the Philadelphia Orchestra musicians at Saratoga, N.Y., late last week. "In recent years, I have found much uncertainty about the future of the Mann and its financial situation," Dutoit explained.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2008 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Sometimes an orchestra and conductor form an interpretation so finely detailed it seems to pop off the stage with the full-dimensional complexities of sculpture. And then there are performances like the Beethoven Symphony No. 5 the Philadelphia Orchestra constructed Wednesday night to open its annual three-week residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. While hardly rough, it still came across as a work in progress. This bit of news is actually a hopeful bellwether - the fact that right after vacation and with only an hour's worth of rehearsal the orchestra could achieve a Beethoven 5 that, if not terribly evolved, had a high level of polish, sweep and purpose.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 1988 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
When Charles Dutoit left Montreal for Philadelphia early this month, he was a music director transforming himself into a guest conductor. But the world abruptly changed around him, and he found himself being touted by the press as a candidate to succeed Zubin Mehta, who recently announced that he will leave the helm of the New York Philharmonic at the end of the 1991 season. There's no surprise in that meteoric rise, for Dutoit, 52, has also quietly taken Philadelphia by storm, ascending from guest conductor to something more important.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 30, 1990 | By Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
A concert version of Puccini's "La Boheme" will highlight this summer's Philadelphia Orchestra season at the Mann Music Center, with a wealth of other musical delights around the region to tide music lovers over until the fall. The usual Mann season of 18 evening concerts and one children's program continues, with free coupons for 10,000 general admission tickets appearing in the Daily News three weeks before each concert. Charles Dutoit takes over this season as music director of the Mann; he'll conduct the second and last week, as well as "La Boheme" on June 28. Hugh Wolff, Jesus Lopez-Cobos and Stanislaw Skrowaszewski, music directors of the New Jersey, Cincinnati and Halle (Manchester, England)
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 14, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Like several previous Philadelphia Orchestra conductors, Charles Dutoit appears to be leaving a bit wounded. After visiting for more than 30 years — as guest conductor, director of the orchestra's two summer seasons, and finally as chief conductor of the regular subscription concerts — Dutoit, who is 75, this week concludes a four-year appointment that encompassed the most troubled period of the institution's history. He'll no doubt return as a guest, though not for awhile, as he maintains a respectful distance while Yannick Nézet-Séguin launches his own music-director tenure in the fall.
NEWS
May 7, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
When Wolfgang Sawallisch was winding up his Philadelphia Orchestra tenure, some of his concert programs became curiously modest. Remember Richard Strauss' 45-minute wind band piece, The Happy Workshop? In contrast, Charles Dutoit is veering toward the gargantuan in his last three subscription concerts as chief conductor. His Strauss choice is the opera Elektra later this week. And on Friday, he poured on waves of sound in Scriabin's unapologetically extravagant Poem of Ecstasy with the Verizon Hall organ powering the climaxes from within.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2012 | By David Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia has never been Glamour Central — its audiences don't need that sort of thing — but the orchestra's status certainly wasn't hurt by a triple dose of that commodity over the weekend. Opera star Jessye Norman unexpectedly delivered an unaccompanied spiritual at Saturday's Lifetime Achievement Award Gala, which also came with a performance by her superb protégé, Canadian mezzo-soprano Susan Platts. On Sunday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, the orchestra's concluding concert program of the season (repeated Monday at Perelman, and to be heard again Tuesday at the Temple Performing Arts Center)
NEWS
February 20, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The job of an orchestra has always been to walk a queasy line between leading public taste and following it, but you might excuse the Philadelphia Orchestra for leaning into the latter territory more often lately, given its precarious state. This is a year for learning to love the Philadelphians again. Friday night's program reinforced the notion that if you give a certain large slice of the listenership what it wants, it will delight. Here it was Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Nikolaï Lugansky - in other words, a piece that has been building a fan base in Philadelphia for nearly a century, played by a pianist with buzz.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Charles Dutoit always has been a canny curator, but deep significance seems to lie beneath his repertoire choices between now and the last of his days in Philadelphia. Thursday night you could sense his mind at work in programming Frank Martin's relatively obscure Concerto for Seven Winds, Percussion and String Orchestra . The piece was championed by fellow Swiss Ernest Ansermet, an early guiding light for Dutoit. Marrying those sympathies with the Philadelphia Orchestra's saturated strings and highly polished winds would seem to unleash all sorts of synergies.
NEWS
October 31, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Classical music warhorses, like cliches, become what they are for a reason: They communicate something important that's understood by many. And because they lose meaning when overused - does anybody really know what awesome means anymore? - they're hardly inexhaustible. That's why the Philadelphia Orchestra's Friday performance of Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations, one of the most popular works in the repertoire and whose "Nimrod" section has achieved "greatest" status, was a model instance of maintaining meaning in often-heard music.
NEWS
September 8, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
LONDON - Some had been waiting since 8:30 Thursday morning. The less devoted had only been there since 3 p.m. But they all said they were there to score a prime spot on the main floor of Royal Albert Hall to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra play music that was written for it - Rachmanionoff's Symphonic Dances - and join star soloist Janine Jansen in the Violin Concerto of one of the orchestra's other specialties, Tchaikovsky. The Thursday BBC Proms concert had been completely sold out for weeks, except for the 5-pound day-of-show tickets to the main floor area, where listeners stand throughout the concert (except for the early birds, who claim the handful of seats around the side)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 2011
"Whatever financial woes the cash-strapped Philadelphia Orchestra might be having at home, they gave a super performance . . . that glittered and sparkled from beginning to end. . . . This phenomenal orchestra produces a well-balanced sound, seemingly effortlessly. " - Susan Nickalls, Edinburgh Daily News, Aug. 31 " . . . in Lucerne, one could hear precisely which areas Dutoit had worked on with the orchestra and which he had not. . . . Piano Concerto No. 2]
ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
EDINBURGH, Scotland - Were the Philadelphia Orchestra's "European Festivals" tour a reality TV show, this scene would definitely be in it: Tuesday morning in the lobby of the Hotel Conrad in Dublin, world-famous pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet had his bags packed and was ready to go, but wasn't at all sure where. Would it be Air France to Paris, where he lives? Or the orchestra's charter plane to Edinburgh, to once again fill in for the tour's other star soloist, violinist Janine Jansen, on Wednesday?
NEWS
August 28, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
LUCERNE, Switzerland - Though ducking an earthquake and a hurricane back home, the Philadelphia Orchestra faced 103-degree heat Friday in Vienna, Austria, then touched down in Switzerland on Saturday only hours after a late-summer blizzard whitened the mountains outside this postcard-perfect city. Yet no distractions kept the ensemble from eliciting unreservedly raucous cheers from the packed hall at the orchestrally rich Lucerne Festival - partly because chief conductor Charles Dutoit had the bells of his dreams.
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