Ivor Bolton is an English conductor and harpsichordist. He studied at Clare College (University of Cambridge) (1976–80) and was conducting scholar at the Royal College of Music (1980–81). He later trained as a répétiteur at the National Opera Studio and was appointed conductor of Schola Cantorum of Oxford.
Bolton was Assistant Chorus Master and staff conductor from 1982-1984 for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He made his operatic conducting debut in 1986 with Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress for Opera 80. He later became music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera (now Glyndebourne on Tour) from 1992 to 1997. He was principal conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1994 to 1996. He has also held leadership positions with the St James's Baroque Players in London (with whom he recorded the Bach harpsichord concertos BWV 1052-1058 in 1987) and the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music. Other work with period ensembles has included collaboration with the Dresdner Festspielorchester (Dresden Festival Orchestra), which began in 2012.
Since 2004, Bolton has been Chief Conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, with which he has appeared at The Proms in 2006. He is scheduled to conclude his tenure with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg at the close of the 2015-2016 season. In February 2014, the Teatro Real named Bolton its next music director, effective with the 2015-2016 season, with an initial contract of 5 years. In June 2015, the Sinfonieorchester Basel announced the appointment of Bolton as its next chief conductor, as of the 2016-2017 season, with an initial contract of 4 years.
With the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Bolton has made commercial recordings of music by W. A. Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Hector Berlioz, and Anton Bruckner. In addition, he has conducted commercial recordings of Handel's Theodora from the Salzburg Festival, Mayr's Medea in Corinto from Munich, Janáček's Jenůfa from the Teatro Real Madrid, Cavalli's Ercole amante from the Netherlands Opera, and Mozart's Zaide and La finta giardiniera from Salzburg.
Bolton is married to the musicologist, critic, and broadcaster Tess Knighton. The couple have a son, and reside in Barcelona.