Orin O’Brien was honored by the Music Academy of the West with its Distinguished Alumni Award on August 4, 2015. Double bass faculty member Nico Abondolo presented the award to Orin, who was hired by Leonard Bernstein as the first woman in the New York Philharmonic,  during the intermission of a concert at the Lobero Theater. He pointed out that there had been only 13 recipients, including songwriter Burt Bacharach. The audience rose to its feet and cheered as Orin accepted the award, saying that it was during her summers at the Academy that “I discovered that I wanted to be a professional musician more than anything.” In addition to her position with the New York Philharmonic, she was co-chair of the Juilliard double bass department from 1992 to 2002 and is on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music. Congratulations, Orin!