Obituary: Vera Stern, arts administrator and Carnegie Hall defender, 88

Posted on: July 24, 2015

“Vera Stern, an arts administrator who, with her husband, the violinist Isaac Stern, helped rescue Carnegie Hall from demolition in 1960, died on Tuesday at her home in Manhattan,” writes William Grimes in Wednesday’s (7/22) New York Times. “She was born Vera Lindenblit on July 11, 1927, in Berlin.” Her father died at Auschwitz, and following World War II she and her mother immigrated to New York City. After moving to Israel in 1952, “She found work at a radio station in Tel Aviv. Within a few months she met Mr. Stern…. Seventeen days later, they married. After returning to New York City, she began raising money for Israel Bonds, cultivating skills she put to use working for the America-Israel Cultural Foundation … Mrs. Stern, who became the president of the organization, played a major role in expanding its scholarship program…. When Carnegie Hall was threatened with demolition … Mr. Stern served as the public face of the campaign to save it, but his wife worked furiously behind the scenes, proselytizing and persuading. … Her marriage to Mr. Stern, who died in 2001, ended in divorce.” Survivors include sons Michael, music director of the Kansas City Symphony, David, a Paris-based conductor, and a daughter, Shira Stern, a rabbi in Morganville, N.J.

Posted July 24, 2015