Charles Dutoit Extends Contract to Conduct Philadelphia Orchestra in Saratoga

Classic Arts News   Charles Dutoit Extends Contract to Conduct Philadelphia Orchestra in Saratoga
 
Charles Dutoit has agreed to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra's annual residencies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center through 2008, SPAC announced yesterday.

Dutoit, the revered former music director of the Montreal Symphony, has led the orchestra's summer concerts at the upstate New York venue since 1990.

"We are proud to have Maestro Charles Dutoit among us as SPAC begins its second 40 years as a cultural anchor in the region," said outgoingSPAC president Herbert Chesbrough in a statement. "His exciting presence here as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra attracts and inspires the world's finest soloists to our stage, where they perform exceptional music for our audiences."

The extension is a rare piece of good news for the center, which has been in turmoil since officials announced early last year that the New York City Ballet would not continue its own long-running annual residency. That decision was eventually reversed, but it prompted a state audit that criticized management practices at the center. Chesbrough, whose compensation was also the source of controversy, will depart later this year and be replaced by Marcia White, an aide to New York state senator Joseph Bruno.

Dutoit led the Montreal Symphony from 1977 to 2002 and raised the orchestra's profile through recordings and tours. He departed abruptly after musicians criticized what they saw as an autocratic style. He served as music director of the Orchestre National de France from 1991 to 2001, and of Tokyo's NHK Symphony from 1999 to 2004. He was recently named the director of a new music festival and academy in Guangdong, China.


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