During the recently-ended Mortier era, the orchestra employed rotating music directors - a system which everyone agrees has raised orchestral standards dramatically. But the new artistic director Joan Matabosch now wants to return to a more conventional arrangement, and Bolton is apparently the top candidate.
It's a a surprising choice in some ways. Bolton is at the top of his specialist field. Opera houses all over Europe clamour for him to conduct their baroque and classical offerings. With his Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg he has successfully branched out into later symphonic repertoire, but on the opera side, his abilities in anything later than Mozart remain largely untested. How will he fare in a house which, like most others, relies on the 19th and 20th century warhorses for its bread and butter? Or will that too change?