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Charles Dutoit: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Outgoing Chief Conductor

In no sense of the word is the Swiss-born conductor Charles Dutoit retiring. He has, however, completed his tenure as chief conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, making way for Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the ensemble’s new music director.

Named chief conductor after the departure of  Christoph Eschenbach in 2008, Maestro Dutoit has provided a leadership bridge between music directors, providing advice on guest conductors and repertory, auditioning new players, and leading the ensemble for weeks at home and on foreign tours.

Charles Dutoit’s long relationship with the Philadelphians began with his debut in 1980.  He’s directed  the orchestra’s summer concerts for decades: at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts through the 1990s, and at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York from 1990 until last year. 

Here he speaks with WRTI's Jim Cotter.