New York Philharmonic’s Borda on getting through the pandemic—with hard work and optimism

Posted on: October 26, 2020

President and CEO Deborah Borda “has called these pandemic months ‘the single biggest crisis’ the New York Philharmonic has faced in its 178-year history,” writes Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan in Friday’s (10/23) Reuters. “But Borda is optimistic: ‘I always say, “We survived the Civil War, two World Wars and the Spanish Flu epidemic, so we will be back.” ’ … Q: What is your biggest work-life challenge? Borda: Work-life balance. Running these iconic large-scale institutions … you’re essentially on call 24/7. Q: Who are your mentors? Borda: The (former) general manager of the San Francisco Symphony, Peter Pastreich. Peter believed in me, promoted me throughout the organization and advised me throughout my career. The Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen is … somebody I talk to on a regular basis about the aesthetics of music. Q: How have you found yourself thinking or doing things differently in 2020? Borda: My life has totally changed…. Now I’m working at home … 12-hour days on a regular basis, six days a week sometimes. Q: What advice do you have for those who are trying to navigate this changing world today? Borda: Try to believe there will be a future because there is going to be a future.”