Deborah Borda, the other power behind the L.A. Phil’s podium


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Ever since the Los Angeles Philharmonic recruited him to be its new music director, the 29-year-old Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel has been the most conspicuous face in the classical music world. But there’s a far less conspicuous presence whom many people credit not only with landing the highly coveted Dudamel, but also with restoring the once-wobbly Phil to financial health in the 21st century and leading it successfully into Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003.

That would be Deborah Borda, the Phil’s president and chief executive. Since taking over the orchestra Jan. 1, 2000, after nearly a decade leading the New York Philharmonic, Borda has built on the artistic legacy of her late predecessor Ernest Fleischmann to keep the Phil among the nation’s top ensembles, and arguably its most artistically adventurous, particularly in presenting new music.


The 61-year-old native New Yorker is quick to credit the Phil’s success to many others, including Fleischmann, former music director Esa-Pekka Salonen, Dudamel, the players and her board and staff. But our Sunday profile of Borda explains the size of her role in keeping the Phil creatively and financially on pitch. Click here to read ‘Deborah Borda orchestrates the creative chaos of the L.A. Philharmonic.’

-- Reed Johnson