Obituary from the New York Times

HOFFMAN--Deborah, was Principal Harpist at the Metropolitan Opera. Being the youngest child in a famous musical family she grew up hearing superb string playing. This background gave her harp playing a singing tone, inflected phrasing, and variety of tone colors and voicing that transcended the usual limitations of the instrument. As a young child she had such a naturally gifted ear that she was able to memorize pieces on first hearing. Her keen awareness of orchestral texture enabled her to unfailingly know exactly when and how to fit it. Early in her professional career she discovered that she had somehow developed the capacity to mind-read conductors to know exactly what their intentions were. This made her the favorite of many maestros. "I can always count of her for exactly what I want," said James Levine, Music Director at the Met. "She's a great musician, she's a great harpist, she's a great colleague, she's a great citizen in the orchestra." Those who knew her can never forget her delightful sense of humor, positive attitude, enthusiasm, animated facial expressions and intellectual curiosity. Ever-present and aware, she could remember details from conversations or events that took place years in the past. A person of impeccable integrity, she had that rare capability of always speaking the truth, yet almost never offending. She is survived by her mother, Esther Glazer, and father, Irwin Hoffman, her brothers, Joel, Gary and Toby, her husband, Roger Nierenberg, nephews and nieces Sascha, Benjamin, Natania, Nasu, Solomon and two step-children, David and Rachel Nierenberg. A funeral will be held on Thursday, February 13 at 3pm at the Riverside Memorial Chapel at 180 West 76 Street.