The New York Philharmonic, which has been treading water financially, tapped Wednesday the well-regarded head of the Los Angeles Philharmonic as president in a startling shake-up for the classical music world.
Deborah Borda, who will take over as president and chief executive in September, has restored financial health to the Los Angeles Philharmonic since taking over in 2000 and led its move to the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The New York Philharmonic, despite its long reputation as the premier US orchestra, has wrestled with deficits over the past decade. Its president Matthew VanBesien announced his resignation in January.
It is a surprise homecoming for Borda, who held the same position at the New York Philharmonic in the 1990s but headed west in part after tensions with then-music director Kurt Masur.
Borda said in a statement that the New York Philharmonic -- whose home at Lincoln Center is set for major renovations -- was in a "key transitional moment."
"New York City and Lincoln Center stand at the crossroads of the artistic world and the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships within our vibrant community are thrilling," said Borda, a native New Yorker.
She also said she felt a bond with incoming music director Jaap van Zweden.
The Dutch conductor praised her, saying: "Her energy and commitment to music is unparalleled, and she has a special passion for community access and inclusion."
In Los Angeles, Borda tapped as music director the young Venezuelan star Gustavo Dudamel and built a buzz around high-profile living composers such as John Adams and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The New York Philharmonic -- which Wednesday will premiere Salonen's latest work, a cello concerto for Yo-Yo Ma -- in 2015 enjoyed a major boost when entertainment mogul David Geffen donated $100 million.