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Deborah Borda To Return as President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic

Posted March 15, 2017


Today Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Music Director Designate Jaap van Zweden, announced that Deborah Borda will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Philharmonic on September 15, 2017. In addition, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Thomas will become Executive Director, effective May 1, 2017. Ms. Borda will succeed Matthew VanBesien, who has held the Orchestra’s chief administrative post since 2012.

Deborah Borda has served as president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2000, having previously served in the same capacity at the New York Philharmonic during the 1990s. “This is a homecoming for me as a native New Yorker, but, more than that, it is a key transitional moment filled with opportunity to make a difference for one of the great musical organizations of the world — the New York Philharmonic,” she said. “The major factors that have led me here are my immediate sense of partnership with Jaap van Zweden and our shared belief in forging new ways forward. The passionate commitment of the Board to the future, the remarkable quality of the Orchestra, and the ability to promote the superb and trusted administrator Bill Thomas to the position of Executive Director were all critical to my decision. New York City and Lincoln Center stand at the crossroads of the artistic world and the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships within our vibrant community are thrilling. While embracing this challenging new work, I sincerely wish to express my deepest thanks and admiration for Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic ‘family,’ who have been courageous and loving partners over 17 years.”

Of the appointment, Oscar Schafer said: “The search committee and I immediately knew that Deborah Borda was the best and only person to help lead the New York Philharmonic at this pivotal time as we head into an exciting future along with Jaap van Zweden. She is recognized worldwide as a premier leader in the arts, and her proven track record of bold vision and innovative leadership fits hand in hand with this great city and this great Orchestra. We could not be more thrilled that she has chosen to return to the New York Philharmonic and to her New York home. Alongside Bill Thomas, whose expertise and experience has guided the Philharmonic over 15 years, we look forward to working together in partnership as we lay the groundwork for this Orchestra’s next 175 years. I’d like to thank the search committee, especially Jaap van Zweden, for its diligent work during this process, and I would like to again acknowledge and sincerely thank Matthew VanBesien for his leadership and many accomplishments during his tenure these past five years.”

Deborah Borda’s return to the Philharmonic this September will coincide with Jaap van Zweden’s arrival as Music Director Designate. The Dutch maestro said: “Oscar Schafer’s masterful leadership has made the seemingly impossible dream of getting Deborah Borda back to the New York Philharmonic a reality! Her energy and commitment to music is unparalleled, and she has a special passion for community access and inclusion. We are thrilled to be welcoming Deborah back to New York, and I look forward to our partnership in launching a new era. Also, Bill Thomas has been and continues to be a great asset to our institution, and his new role will be vital to the teamwork ahead. Personally, I could not be more thrilled with these two appointments.”

Learn more about Deborah Borda and Bill Thomas.