L.A. Phil names Gail Samuel as acting president


The Los Angeles Philharmonic shocked the arts world with the news this month that its longtime president and CEO, Deborah Borda, would be departing for the New York Philharmonic.

On Tuesday, the L.A. Phil announced that its executive director, Gail Samuel, will assume the role of acting president and CEO in Borda’s place, effective immediately. Samuel held that position temporarily in 2015 when Borda took a four-month sabbatical at Harvard University.

L.A. Phil Board Chairman Jay Rasulo will lead a search committee for Borda’s permanent replacement. The L.A. Phil wouldn’t comment on candidates for the position or a timeline for the search.


Samuel, a native Angeleno, has worked at the Minnesota Orchestra, Yale University, the Tanglewood music festival and the Young Musicians Foundation. She has been with the L.A. Phil for 25 years in various capacities, starting as orchestra manager and assuming her current role, in which she runs Hollywood Bowl operations and programming, in March 2015.

Borda will be an advisor to the board of directors until June 1. At the New York Philharmonic, she will replace Matthew VanBesien as president and CEO on Sept. 15.

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