Deborah Borda '71
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In Los Angeles, Borda designed an acclaimed business and curatorial plan, which restored the Philharmonic to robust artistic and fiscal health, oversaw the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall and the addition of a new shell to the Hollywood Bowl, the LA Phil’s summer home, expanded artistic programming at both venues, and spearheaded the appointment of Gustavo Dudamel as Music Director.
Under Borda’s leadership, the LA Phil made ambitious, forward-looking advances in its artistic and social objectives. The orchestra maintains the most active commissioning program in the country, and has garnered international acclaim for its interdisciplinary productions and work with new technologies, including the VAN Beethoven mobile experience and Orchestra VR app, utilizing Oculus virtual reality headset technology.
In the community, the orchestra has become a valued resource, offering such programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), which has become a model for effecting social change through music on a national stage. A Bennington/Royal College of Music alumna and a former professional violist, Borda is in demand internationally as a consultant and lecturer. In 2015 she became the first arts executive to join the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership as a Hauser Leader-in-Residence.
Photograph © Mathew Imaging