Los Angeles Philharmonic Receives $20 Million Gift for New Initiatives
Diane B. Paul, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, today announced that David C. Bohnett, Chairman of the David Bohnett Foundation, has pledged a $20 million gift to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This gift will create the David C. Bohnett Presidential Fund for Discovery and Innovation and will also provide for the naming of the David C. Bohnett Presidential Chair, which endows the position of President and Chief Executive Officer in perpetuity (the position held by Deborah Borda since 2000). This gift is made in honor of Deborah Borda's continuing accomplishments with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Bohnett is a former Board Chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and currently serves on the Board and the Executive Committee.
One of the largest donations in the history of the LA Phil, this new gift will be divided into two equal parts: $10 million to endow the David C. Bohnett Presidential Chair, and $10 million to launch the David C. Bohnett Presidential Fund for Discovery and Innovation. While the naming of a chair is common practice in major academic institutions, the endowment of a CEO position is rare in artistic organizations.
The Fund for Discovery and Innovation will be distributed at the discretion of the President for programs that continue to shape the Los Angeles Philharmonic as an international model of an orchestra of the 21st century - through investments in new audience development and initiatives that enhance the institution's mission of innovative programming and social responsibility to the community.
Deborah Borda stated, "David Bohnett has again demonstrated not only his incredible generosity and commitment to the Philharmonic, but also his profound belief that musical institutions have an important role to play in civic life. He truly sees the arts and education as an essential human service. I am deeply grateful to David for his support and friendship over the years and now for this transformative gift. His visionary philanthropy will allow the LA Phil to continue to expand the programmatic boundaries of the American symphony orchestra as a pioneer of innovation and excellence. I am honored to occupy a position that bears his name."
"It's a privilege to honor Deborah Borda's 15 years at the helm of our extraordinary institution by endowing the David C. Bohnett Presidential Chair. A formidable executive as well as a close friend, Deborah has forever changed the landscape of music in L.A.," said David Bohnett. "Her many significant accomplishments include orchestrating the move to Walt Disney Concert Hall, recruiting Gustavo Dudamel as Music Director, invigorating and expanding programming downtown and at the Hollywood Bowl, and putting the institution on firm financial footing. Deborah is a great part of why the Phil has earned the reputation as, in the words of The New Yorker's Alex Ross, 'the most creative, and, therefore, the best orchestra in America'. Now is the ideal time for us to broaden support for the present and future needs of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I encourage others to join me in ensuring that the orchestra, an innovative cornerstone of the arts across the nation, continues to enrich the lives of our diverse community for many years to come."