[Outgoing Chief Executive Simon] Woods is unlikely to be party to announcing a replacement, leaving that up to his successor.Yet there did not seem any glaringly obvious choice. Fine young conductor James Lowe hasn't worked with the orchestra since his term as associate conductor ended in 2007, more's the pity. A glance through the guest conductors of the last few seasons didn't throw up any especially obvious candidates either.
In the end, Woods and the RSNO have turned to British Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian (Google reveals differing opinions as to whether it is pronounced "oon-jen", "oon-jun", "un-gin" or "un-jun"). Since 2004 he has been music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a post he will continue to hold concurrently with the RSNO job. True, his CV may look a little thin in conducting terms, given he is in his middle 50s: past posts include principal guest conductorships of the Colorado and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and most of the biggest orchestral names are absent from the list of those he has appeared with. Having said that, in large part this is probably explained by his having spent a good chunk of his career, some 14 years, as first violin of the Tokyo Quartet. And, let's remember, Robin Ticciati came to the SCO with a pretty short CV and is doing great things.