Breaking: Deborah Borda to leave NY Philharmonic

Breaking: Deborah Borda to leave NY Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

June 17, 2022

In one of the major music transitions of the decade, Deborah Borda had decided to step down as president and CEO of the New York Philharmonic a year from now.

Her successor will be Gary Ginstling, presently at the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC.

Borda, 73 next month, has given no hint until now of giving up.

She is in the throes of taking the orchestra back into its refurbished hall in September and is also closely engaged in the search for a music director to succeed Jaap Van Zweden.

But clearly the matter has been carefully planned. Ginstling will arrive as Executive Director from November 1, 2022, working alongside Borda until June 30, 2023, when he becomes the Philharmonic’s President and CEO.

At the Board’s request, she will then become Executive Advisor to the President and Board of Directors.

This has been a very slick operation, completely unforseen.

UPDATE: What’s next for the New York Philharmonic?


  • Tiredofitall says:

    Ms. Borda did well by the NY Philharmonic. Well-deserved.

  • drummerman says:

    Do you mean “very slick” as a compliment or otherwise?

  • Tamino says:

    Very professional operation. Now I wish them luck in finding a new MD, and the humbleness for artistic growth.

  • Chicagorat says:

    Woah. Will she be heading to the Midwest?

    In Alexander’s shoes, I’d lose a good amount of sleep over this. Under the Canadian’s presidency, the CSO has lost the status of elite orchestra. Besides overseeing more than a decade of ever worsening artistic mediocrity, he as acquiesced to Muti’s unethical behaviors and the organization’s brand has been defaced as a result. Ticket sales reflect the decay of the institution.

    Borda would bring much needed renewal to Chicago.

    • drummerman says:

      Pretty sure that Jeff Alexander is American. I went to school with him.

      • Joe Green says:

        You probably should explain to Chicagorat what a school is. The concept of knowing something before talking about it seems foreign to him

    • Marko Velikonja says:

      I would imagine that at 73, she’ll retire to the world of consulting and grey eminence.

    • Paracelsus says:

      Lots of readers like to criticize the “canadian”, but the man is there only to rubber stamp. How does Cristina Rocca get a pass in the shipwreck? Isn’t she in charge of AP? She’s joined at the hips with Muti and behind the scenes is the consigliere of the Chicago Italian “musical mafia”, a major enabler. She’s the mastermind of the final piteous Muti russian season, among other accomplishments. And how does Gorno get a pass? The buck should stop with her, and she has already managed to do worse than Zell.

    • Hal says:

      She is entering a well-deserved retirement with her partner, I think it’s time for her “Me Time”.

  • David Hyslop says:

    Deborah is a huge talent and a great credit to our field.

    • Blair Tindall says:

      I couldn’t agree more! She is a shining star. As far as I know she would stay in NYC and have a role as executive advisor in semi-retirement. She’s 72, I believe.

  • Paul Sekhri says:

    Deborah is, and always will be, a true star in the world’s musical firmament.

  • Axl says:

    Well, not a quite bit surprice because in age of 73 you have been retired few years ago – at least here in Europe. So she desrire a happy and peaceful retirement days and next generation can continue her work. So thank you Mrs. Borda for all job in LA Phil and NY Phil and wishing more than happy future for you!

  • Another CSOA Insider says:

    First of all, Chicagorat (CSOA Insider, Lothario Hunter, etc.) it is clear you are suffering from the childlike inability to get past whatever slight you feel has been dealt you by Muti, Alexander or the CSOA. To the rest of the world, your posts appear petty and shameful. I encourage you to seek therapy so you can move on in life.
    The facts are, Muti is a great conductor and has been so for over 50 years. Look at his career, listen to his recordings, attend his concerts. Can he be rough around the edges? Yes. Get over it.
    As for Alexander, you will never meet a more thoughtful, graceful, distinguished, sincere or honest leader. He is, unquestionably, a great arts administrator. Your accusations against him are preposterous. It is only in your mind that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s stature has declined. The concerts are brilliantly performed, conductors and soloists of the highest caliber happily accept invitations to work with the orchestra, tour invitations, as I understand it, are bountiful and tour concerts, as I have experienced, are sold out weeks in advance.
    Has audience size in Chicago diminished this year? Yes, of course, as it has everywhere in the world. Has Alexander managed the organization brilliantly prior to and through the pandemic? Frankly, he deserves a medal!
    Alexander’s leadership skills, passion for his chosen profession, compassion for his employees and dedication to the success of the company he runs are at the very top of any chief executive in any field I have ever seen (and I have seen many over the past 40 years). The CSOA is blessed to have him. You should stop with these inane posts. You come off looking ridiculous.

  • Hmm says:

    Is she going to SF?

  • TeeJay says:

    Much to her discredit, she failed to make sure that a pipe organ was installed in the renovated hall.

  • Cleia Thaxter says:

    Borda has found out that New York is not Los Angeles. It becomes clear that her team in LA: Esa Pekka Salonen, Frank Gerhy and Toyota of Nagata Acoustics provided guidance she has missed in New York. She needed a stronger team.

  • Jasper says:

    Deborah Borda was responsible for putting Kurt Masur on the street when he wished to continue as Music Director. In so many words, her compared her to the Stasi.