In 1977 Dutoit obtained the major appointment of his career: music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He quickly elevated the Montreal to international acclaim. He notably improved the orchestra's scheduling of Classical-era works, particularly the symphonies of Haydn. He is also noted for the championing of new Canadian music. Dutoit has been the artistic director and principal conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra's concert series at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, and has also directed the orchestra's summer series at the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia. In 1990, Dutoit became music director of the Orchestre National de France. Since September 1996, he has been the principal conductor of the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and as of September 1998, also their music director. In April 2002, Dutoit resigned his position with Montreal Symphony.
While in Montreal, Dutoit established an impressive legacy of recordings that won over 40 national and international awards including the Grand Prix du Président de la République (France), the High Fidelity International Record Critics' Award, the Amsterdam Edison Award, the Japan Record Academy Award, the German Music Critics' Award, as well as numerous Juno awards. Dutoit and the Montreal received their first Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Opera Recording of Berlioz's Les Troyens and more recently, a second Grammy for their 1999 recording of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto Nos. 1 and No. 3, and Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3 with pianist Martha Argerich. The Montreal and Dutoit also recently won a Juno Award for their recording of Respighi's La Boutique Fantasque and Impressioni brasiliane.
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