NY steals back Borda

It’s been a dramatic week for the arts and humanities across the country, of course, and for all the calls to action, you may somehow have missed the news that LA Phil’s intrepid prez/CEO, Deborah Borda, will soon leave SoCal to return to her post with the NY Philharmonic.  This isn’t entirely a surprise, of course, as not too long ago (late 2015), Borda served up a stint as guest faculty at Harvard, and has to have received significant wooing while she was in the area.

But while most staffing announcements of this sort would be fairly run-of-the-mill, this one comes with a mini-quake, at the very least.  Borda has been more than an administrator to watch, toiling away behind the artistic superstars.  In her years with the LA Phil, she has been a force of her own, not only supporting the decisions and visions of the folks up front, but effecting real change that has, in so many ways, made the current arts climate in Los Angeles what it is today: diverse, vibrant, awe-inspiring.


Summing up Borda’s local accomplishments nicely with a small tweetstorm (and a nice use of that mechanism), KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen creates a sort of miniature history lesson on the influence of this extremely effective, radically visionary woman.  Start here:

More takes

The LA Times‘ Mark Swed weighs in here, with a well-balanced, well-informed article that is a great place to start

The Times later added a broader view of this news on the arts world in general

All is Yar‘s CK Dexter Haven, arguably one of the Phil’s closest observers, offers some insightful analysis and a little historic warning

WQXR is understandably thrilled

The Washington Post‘s Anne Midgette, making the most of her third-party perspective, raises interesting questions


And a word from the Listers

NY better appreciate what they’ve won, or Deborah, we’ll be coming for you in our first rescue operation… 


Press release follows



Team led by Board Chairman Jay Rasulo will lead search committee for next President

Los Angeles, March 15, 2017 – Los Angeles Philharmonic Board Chairman Jay Rasulo announced today that Deborah Borda will step down from her position as President and CEO to become President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic starting September 15, 2017.
The search for a new President will begin immediately, conducted by a committee led by Mr. Rasulo. A seamless transition and ever ambitious continuation of all the LA Phil’s programs and initiatives will be ensured.
“We want to thank Deborah Borda for 17 years of extraordinary service and for leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic to incredible success in so many areas,” said Jay Rasulo. “The prominence and exciting reputation which the LA Phil currently enjoys around the world is due in large part to her visionary and powerful leadership, along with the dedicated work of the two music directors with whom she worked, the orchestra, and the LA Philharmonic Association staff. We all wish her well in her future endeavors.”
Gustavo Dudamel stated, “Deborah and I have come such a long way together in the last 10 years, and it has been a truly productive road that we have traveled. Together we have fought for music education and community, and she believes, as do I, in breaking down walls, not building them. We will miss her energy, vision and spirit…and also her loving and caring presence!”
Deborah Borda said, “It is hard to believe that it has really been 17 years since I came to L.A. But what a 17 years it has been! With the support of our superb musicians, board and staff, the LA Phil has boldly defined a way forward for musical organizations throughout the globe. My gratitude is profound. I especially express my deepest thanks and admiration to my partner for now almost the past decade, Gustavo Dudamel. Leaving him and indeed my LA Phil family is not easy, but my solace is in returning to my home and my family. I have been blessed to work with such courageous and loving partners. The institution is in a robust and healthy state both artistically and financially and is wonderfully positioned to continue to make history… and it will!”

About the Los Angeles Philharmonic

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.

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