James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.
Deborah Borda is Coming Home to the NY Philharmonic
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 05:59 PM
The New York Philharmonic, though one of the nation's leading orchestral ensembles, has been battling many a challenge for over the past decade. There was the search for a director that would succeed Alan Gilbert, concluding with the appointment of Jaap van Sweden. There are the much-needed renovations at its Lincoln Center home, David Geffen Hall. And, of course, there are the financial woes, the looming specter that has haunted the organization for over a decade. But on Wednesday, the philharmonic took a giant step in its journey with the announcement of a new CEO and president: Deborah Borda.
Technically, “new” might not be the right word — Borda served the New York Philharmonic in the same capacity during much of the 1990s. She left in 2000 to join the Los Angeles Philharmonic, first as executive vice president and general manager before being promoted to president and CEO three years later. During her LA years, Borda helped revitalize that city’s premier orchestra by overseeing highly successful fundraisers and securing the talents of the electrifying conductor, Gustavo Dudamel.
Borda’s first period in New York was marred by clashes and conflicts with the then music director Kurt Masur, so one can only imagine what she can accomplish in a more harmonious environment. Her administrative skill is unparalleled, and any orchestra would be better with Borda at the helm.