Los Angeles, CA (APRIL 23, 2015)— Bard College announced today that it will honor Los Angeles Philharmonic President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Borda with the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters, given in recognition of significant contributions to the American artistic or literary heritage. She will be presented with the award at the Bard Music Festival Gala, Noche de gala, celebrating the music of Carlos Chávez, whose work will be the focus of this year’s Festival. The gala is on Wednesday, April 29, at Dos Caminos Park Avenue, 373 Park Avenue South at 27th Street in New York City.
“We’re honoring Deborah Borda for her accomplishments as a pioneering leader of the symphony orchestra in America and for her commitment to the link between the arts and education,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein.
Widely regarded as one of the most successful arts executives in the United States, Deborah Borda is known for her innovative approach to shaping the role of orchestras in the 21st century. She has led the LA Phil, which maintains the largest operating budget of any American orchestra, into an era of robust artistic and financial health. In partnership with the LA Phil’s lauded Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, Borda has developed a portfolio of influential artistic and educational programs, including such high-profile initiatives as the in/SIGHT series, the El Sistema-inspired Youth Orchestra LA, and the most active commissioning program in the country. Her ambitious vision for the LA Phil, combined with her business acumen, has earned the organization an unrivaled reputation for artistic excellence and creativity worldwide.
About the Kellogg Award:
The Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters is given in recognition of significant contributions to the American artistic or literary heritage. It is named in honor of Charles Flint Kellogg (1909–1980), a Bard College alumnus and trustee, who was an internationally respected historian and educator. Dr. Kellogg was instrumental in establishing the Arts and Letters Award, which, before his death, was given in the name of Alfred Jay Nock, the noted journalist and biographer, who was also a Bard alumnus and faculty member.
Previous recipients include Mary Lee Settle, Isaac Bashevis Singer, E. L. Doctorow, Anthony Hecht ’44, John Ashbery, Susan Rothenberg, Stephen Sondheim, Elliott Carter, John Tyrrell, Henry Luce III, Sidney Geist ’35, Jonathan Tunick ’58, Rhoda Levine ’53, Mary Caponegro ’78, Arthur Aviles ’87, Joanna Haigood ’79, Rikki Ducornet ’64, Daniel Manus Pinkwater ’63, John P. Boylan ’67, Anne Bogart ’74, Sandra Sammataro Phillips ’67, Henry-Louis de La Grange, Gilbert Kaplan, Donald Mitchell, David Gates ’69, Rita McBride ’82, Jane Evelyn Atwood ’70, Christopher Guest ’70, Mimi Levitt, Chris Claremont ’72, Charles E. Pierce Jr., Elizabeth Prince ’83, Miriam Roskin Berger ’56, Nikolay E. Koposov, Billy Steinberg ’72, James D. Wolfensohn, Adam Yauch ’86, Carolee Schneemann ’59, Ashim Ahluwalia ’95, Amy Sillman MFA ’95 and James Levine.
About Deborah Borda, President and Chief Executive Officer, David C. Bohnett Presidential Chair, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association:
Deborah Borda's career has been distinguished by her creative leadership, commitment to innovation, and progressive outlook on the role of the orchestra in the 21st century. Prior to becoming President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2000, she was Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic for a decade, General Manager of the San Francisco Symphony, and President of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In Los Angeles, Borda designed an acclaimed business and curatorial plan, which restored the orchestra to robust artistic and fiscal health; oversaw the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall and the addition of a new shell to the Hollywood Bowl, the LA Phil’s summer home; expanded artistic programming at both venues; and spearheaded the appointment of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel who now holds the title of Music Director & Artistic Director and whose contract has been extended through the 2021-22 season. Under Borda’s leadership, the LA Phil has made ambitious, forward-looking investments to advance both its artistic and social objectives. The orchestra maintains the most active commissioning program in the country and has garnered international acclaim for its interdisciplinary productions and work with new technologies. In the community, the orchestra has become a valued resource, offering such programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), which has become a model for effecting social change through music on a national stage. A Bennington/Royal College of Music alumnus and a former professional violist, Borda is in demand internationally as a consultant and lecturer.
About The Bard Music Festival:
The Bard Music Festival was founded in 1990 to promote new ways of understanding and presenting the history of music to a contemporary audience. Each year, a single composer is chosen as the main subject. The festival explores his biography, considers influences and the consequences of his achievement, and examines all aspects of the musical culture surrounding the time and place of his life. The festival links music to the worlds of literature, painting, theater, philosophy, and politics and brings two kinds of audience together: those with a long history of interest in concert life and first-time listeners, who find the festival an ideal place to learn about and enjoy the riches of our musical past.
In its 26th season, the Bard Music Festival turns, for the first time, to Latin America. The focal point is Carlos Chávez (1899–1978), the central figure in Mexican music of the 20th century. Chávez was a tireless organizer, generous colleague, and the most eminent of Latin American modernist composers. His synthesis of markers of Mexican identity with modernism led Aaron Copland to praise him as “one of the first authentic signs of a New World with its own new music.”
The 2015 Bard Music Festival will showcase masterworks by Chávez and his contemporaries. Program themes will include the relationship of the Latin American musical scene to that in the United States; the role of the European émigrés; the legacy and influence of Spain; Mexican musical traditions; and Chávez’s work as conductor and his place among the outstanding Latin composers of the 20th century. The work of Silvestre Revueltas, Alberto Ginastera, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and others will be heard, as will choral music from Mexico dating back to the 16th century.
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