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Deborah Borda Named Honorary Member of New York Philharmonic

Posted June 30, 2023

 NY Phil Returns to Asia

The New York Philharmonic Board has named Deborah Borda an Honorary Member of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York for her “outstanding service to the organization and the world of music.

First awarded in 1843, this rare distinction has been given to composers (including Liszt, Dvořák, Stravinsky, and Copland), former Music Directors (Bernstein and Boulez), and non-musicians who have had a major impact on the cultural life of New York and the nation (Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and former Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Harry S. Truman). The only other living recipients are Zubin Mehta and Emanuel Ax.  

Borda — who will step down as the NY Phil’s Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO and become Executive Advisor to the President and Board on July 1 — has more than earned the accolade over her combined 14 years at the Orchestra. Think of what her vision and leadership have brought us: the launch of Project 19, the all-women commissioning initiative; the transformation of David Geffen Hall; and, just a few months ago, the appointment of Gustavo Dudamel as the next Music and Artistic Director. Her career has been defined by breaking boundaries, and not only at the NY Phil — she has transformed other orchestras including the LA Phil, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and was the first woman to serve in the top executive post at a major American orchestra when she came to the NY Phil in the 1990s. Her Honorary Membership is her latest in a growing list of accolades, following the honorary doctorate she just received from The Juilliard School, and has cemented her legacy as a major figure not only in this Orchestra’s history, but in the cultural fabric of New York City and the global music community.