Speaker spotlight: Deborah Borda

Deborah Borda is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and will appear in conversation with Gustavo Dudamel at our live event on Sunday, October 23rd. She recently sat down with Jim Farber of San Francisco Classical Voice for an interview and had some interesting things to say about the role of the orchestra in its community:

You can’t manage an orchestra the way we did 20 years ago, even five years ago. It used to be that as a manager all you had to worry about was the artistic imperative of putting the best show you could on stage. Of course, you still have to worry about that. But in addition, as our society has changed, there is a new moral imperative that we have not really addressed or thought about. Symphony orchestras are cultural institutions. But we are also human service institutions and we need to consistently demonstrate our value. That’s especially true when you are saying to the community, “You need to give me 60 percent of my budget to sustain the institution.” Read the full interview.


  1. Matthew B. Dell says:

    Even though this blog has just begun, it’s interesting that the concept of “community” has sprung up in almost every post. We now have the ability to easily and cheaply communicate with others around the world, and to access information in seconds. Classical music fans can listen to multiple performances of almost any work in seconds, without leaving home. Yet for all of this interconnectedness, it seems that projects that serve the physical community are having the greatest success. We see this in non-musical realms, like the popularity of eating “local” food. Perhaps today’s “great” orchestras won’t be the ones with the biggest recording contracts, or even the best players, but the ones that inspire, teach, and connect with their audiences in as many ways as possible.

    Looking forward to seeing the interview!

  2. Rick Robinson says:

    As a professional symphony member, I look at it this way…
    I learned to play to the best of my ability, then to become a well-rounded communicator with music. But what GOOD am I if I can’t convince some people who don’t see any need for classical music of its spiritual value?

    I appreciate Deborah for pointing out we need only focus MOST on bringing in curious music lovers in their 50s. Personally, I will shoot for new audiences in their 30s and 40s too.

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