NEW YORK — Deborah Borda is leaving the Los Angeles Philharmonic to return to the New York Philharmonic, reversing the switch she made nearly two decades ago.
The New York Philharmonic said Wednesday she has been hired as president and chief executive officer, effective Sept. 15. She will replace Matthew VanBesien, who announced in January that he will leave on May 1 to become president of the University of Michigan's University Musical Society.
A native New Yorker and a former violist, Borda held top management positions with the San Francisco Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra before she was hired as managing director of the New York Philharmonic in 1991. After clashing with then music director Kurt Masur, she announced her departure in September 1999 to become president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In Los Angeles, she oversaw the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall and in 2007 hired acclaimed young conductor Gustavo Dudamel to succeed Esa-Pekka Salonen as music director for the 2009-10 season. Dudamel's current contract with the Los Angeles Philharmonic runs through 2021-22.
The New York Philharmonic faces challenges at its Lincoln Center home. Avery Fisher Hall was renamed David Geffen Hall in September 2015 as part of a $100 million gift toward renovation, and the orchestra said in January that it and Lincoln Center had raised nearly $300 million for the project, expected to cost at least $500 million.
Alan Gilbert, music director since 2008-09, leaves at the end of this season. Jaap van Zweden becomes music director designate next season and music director in 2018-19.
The Philharmonic said Bill Thomas, its senior vice-president and chief operating officer, will become its executive director on May 1.
The Associated Press