Dutoit bids Philadelphia Orchestra temporary adieu after four artistically vital years

Posted on: May 17, 2012

In Sunday’s (5/13) Philadelphia Inquirer, David Patrick Stearns writes about the conclusion of Charles Dutoit’s time as chief conductor at the Philadelphia Orchestra. “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. Those four years under Dutoit, however, have been far more important than their relative brevity would suggest. Dutoit has maintained a lofty artistic standard during a leadership crisis when the orchestra had no president or permanent board chair. … At the most unstable point in the bankruptcy, the fall of 2011, he led the musicians in a playing-for-their-lives European tour that knocked out audiences from Lucerne, Switzerland, to Dublin to Paris. A savior? No. But Dutoit (casually known as Charlie) was a key part of the orchestra’s survival.”

Posted May 17, 2012