Riccardo Chailly has withdrawn from January’s long-planned concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He had been front-runner to occupy the vacancy left by James Levine’s decline and told me last year that he was attracted by the possibility.
But unspecified ‘health reasons’ have prompted his withdrawal. He had a heart scare three years back. I hope it’s not a recurrence. He was certainly looking fit and well in London last month.
Where does that leave Boston? With a near-bare cupboard. The remaining candidates to be seen this season are Stephane Deneve, Ludovic Morlot, Jiri Belohlavek, Myun-whun Chung and … one other. The Czech and Korean are overcommitted elsewhere and the two French guys possibly undercooked. That leaves Andris Nelsons, who wowed the orchestra last season when he stepped in for Mahler Ninth.
Right now, the Latvian is on paternity leave. When he gets back, he’ll have a big decision on his plate.