'Top-notch maestro' Charles Dutoit returns to Montreal

For the first time in 14 years, Charles Dutoit conducted the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Thursday night.

The organizers of the Montreal en lumiere festival announced a year ago that Dutoit would be stepping back on the podium with the MSO.

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He was the musical director for 25 years but left abruptly after a very public spat with the orchestra's musicians guild in 2002.

After he left he went to the Philadelphia Orchestra and he refused all contact with the MSO. He also refused interviews about what happened, although he did recently tell a freelance writer that the musician's union and orchestra's CEO were to blame for signing a contract with the guild that he felt was too lax.

"He's a top-notch maestro, he's wanted everywhere in the world," said one spectator before the show.

Dutoit raised the profile of the MSO, taking it around the world and recording several CDs.

Now almost 80, Dutoit led the MSO musicians through a retrospective of works he recorded while at the helm.

The great Charles Dutoit conducting the OSM tonight. @OSMconcerts@CTVMontrealpic.twitter.com/JRFXAL7lar

— Cindy Sherwin (@CSherwinCTV) February 19, 2016

It was his first time on stage at the Maison Symphonique, a dream of his. His ex-wife and pianist Martha Argerich joined him as a soloist.

Both the Thursday and Saturday night performances are sold out.


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