Deborah B. Hoffman (1960-2014), Principal Harp

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Principal Harpist Deborah B. Hoffman. 

The passing of Deborah Hoffman has impacted us deeply.  Even as we mourn her passing, we celebrate the legacy of a remarkable artist and a truly wonderful friend.  Her commitment to teaching means she will live on through the work of her devoted students. 

In her memory, we are undertaking a special funding effort.  The attached letter provides specifics about the initiative.  The link below allows you to make a contribution online and the letter provides instructions for mailing donations.  We hope you will contribute to remember a respected colleague and dear friend.


Not only was Deborah a great friend and mentor to me, she was an exquisite musician and a consummate colleague. I was proud to know her, learn from her, and laugh with her. When she was accompanying a singer, she would know what they were going to do musically before they knew it themselves. She was an absolute master of her instrument, but music was first and foremost in her mind. Music was in her soul. She will be missed dearly.
— Jessica Phillips Rieske, MET Orchestra Clarinet
I can always count on her for exactly what I want. She’s a great musician, she’s a great harpist, she’s a great colleague, she’s a great citizen in the orchestra.
— James Levine
Although Deborah and I had been in the orchestra together for all of the 21 years I have been in the MET Orchestra, I got to know her better recently during a run of one of the last operas she was to perform. As colleagues in the onstage Banda in Julio Cesare, we spent lots of time in the Artists’ Dressing area offstage, waiting for our call to the Stage. It was during these idle moments that we had conversations in which I saw even more than ever before what a quiet, but intense and deeply passionate person she was. Her dedication to her art, to her job, to her friends, and to her family was palpable. And her love for all those things was just as obvious. And what a delightful smile and laugh she always had!

She is already missed in our ensemble as well as in our every day lives.
— Susan Spector, MET Orchestra Oboist
Deborah and I met as students at Juilliard. She has been one of my closest friends for thirty years. She was the most extraordinary person. We spent so much time making music, laughing, and mostly talking about life. She was an inspiration. Gone too soon, forever remembered, forever missed.
— Liz Mann