The glacial pacing and deep secrecy of most music director searches seems to work against any outward appearance of momentum. Nevertheless, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s quest for its next leader inched onward in 2012.
In January, one major conductor, Riccardo Chailly, seemed to drop off the slate of candidates after withdrawing from two weeks of subscription concerts because of ongoing health issues. The young Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons also canceled one January appearance, but then made a very strong showing at Tanglewood. A few months later, Vladimir Jurowski walked into Symphony Hall for his debut, won the evident respect of the orchestra musicians, and then led a searingly powerful account of Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony that is still ringing in my ears. At the moment, for whatever it’s worth, the industry rumor mill has Jurowski as a frontrunner.