Ivor Bolton (born 17 May 1958, Blackrod, England) 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 made his operatic debut in 1986 conducting Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress for Opera 80.
Bolton was Assistant Chorus Master and staff conductor from 1982-84 for Glyndebourne, later becoming music director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera (now Glyndebourne on Tour) from 1992 to 1997, and 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 1053, 1054, 1058 in 1987) and the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music. He has enjoyed an extensive relationship with the Munich State Opera and has conducted seventeen new productions for the company, in the course of which he was awarded the Bayerische Theaterpreis. He has also conducted regularly at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, Vienna State Opera, the Netherlands Opera, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Liceu Barcelona, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Opéra National de Paris.
Since 2004 Bolton has been Chief Conductor of the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg. He was appointed to the post in 2000 after working with the orchestra in the Salzburg Festival 2000 and, in addition to many performances in the Salzburg Festival in subsequent years, Bolton has conducted the Mozarteum Orchestra at The Proms and on tours throughout Europe, the Far East and the USA. He has conducted commercial recordings with the Mozarteum Orchestra of music by composers including W. A. Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn and Hector Berlioz, and is in the latter stages of completing a critically acclaimed cycle of symphonies by Anton Bruckner.
In the orchestral field, Bolton has conducted many of the world's major orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Bolton has an extensive recorded output, and in addition to his many recordings with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, 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.