Performance Today Selects Deborah Borda as 2024 Classical Woman of the Year

Mar 29, 2024

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 29 — Performance Today, a national classical music radio program hosted by Fred Child from American Public Media, is pleased to announce that Deborah Borda has been named the 2024 Classical Woman of the Year. This prestigious title is awarded to exceptional women who have made significant contributions to the world of classical music art form and who provide inspiration for listeners. Borda, an advocate for the performing arts, is chosen for her outstanding leadership and dedication to advancing the classical music industry. 

Borda, a former professional violist, currently serves as Executive Advisor to the President and Board of Directors at New York Philharmonic and has been instrumental in shaping the orchestra's artistic vision. Prior to this, she held the position of CEO, spearheading groundbreaking initiatives, deepening connections with the community and reaching new audiences through innovative programming. In 2023, Borda was named Honorary Member of the Society for her outstanding service to the organization and the world of music.  

Borda's achievements extend beyond her role at the New York Philharmonic. She held leadership positions at esteemed organizations including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Her leadership has led to groundbreaking initiatives including Project 19, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and the national Take a Stand initiative. Borda has been instrumental as a vocal advocate for women in music. She has championed gender equity in the classical music industry, working to break down barriers and create opportunities for female musicians, conductors and composers. Borda's dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity has had a lasting impact on the field, inspiring countless women to pursue careers in classical music. In 2023 she established BordaArts, a consulting firm dedicated to developing innovative leadership for the future 

Borda holds numerous Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from The Julliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory. She has been honored with the Gold Baton from the League of American Orchestras and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.  

“I’m thrilled that Deborah Borda is our 2024 Performance Today Classical Woman of the Year,” said Fred Child, host and senior editor of Performance Today. “Though much of her career has been behind-the-scenes, some of the most cherished aspects of today’s classical scene wouldn’t be what they are without her guiding spirit, and determination. She combines the forward-thinking savvy and intelligent risk-taking of an entrepreneur with the passionate dedication of an artist. It is with great pleasure that we recognize Deborah Borda with this well-deserved award.” 

The recognition of Borda as the 2024 Classical Woman of the Year highlights not only her individual achievements, but also the importance of supporting and celebrating women in the arts. The Performance Today staff is honored to select Borda based on listener nominations and to recognize her as a role model and trailblazer in the classical music community. 

Borda graduated from Bennington College and continued her studies at London’s Royal College of Music. She will be recognized on the March 29 episode of Performance Today, including a conversation with Child about her extensive career and accomplishments. 


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YourClassical® is a collection of curated classical music listening experiences and information produced by Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media Group. YourClassical provides audiences with the music they love through terrestrial broadcasts and multiple web-based platforms. Nationally syndicated YourClassical programs include Pipedreams®, SymphonyCast®, Composers Datebook® and Performance Today®, and are in addition to the Radio, Lullaby, Relax, Peaceful Piano, and Holiday audio streams that can be found at Regional music programming produced by YourClassical MPR®, is a trusted companion for listeners across Minnesota on broadcast radio, web interfaces and live events. YourClassical MPR’s Kid’s Initiatives strives to inspire the next generation of music fans and artists through in-school learning experiences, educational content, and resources for teachers and parents. Each week, nearly 2.75 million people engage with YourClassical. Learn more and listen at