Obituary: arts impresario Harvey Lichtenstein, 87

Posted on: February 14, 2017

“Harvey Lichtenstein, who transformed a moribund Brooklyn Academy of Music into a dynamic showcase for cutting-edge performing arts and its Fort Greene neighborhood into a cultural hub during his 32 years there as the executive producer, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan,” writes Robert Berkvist in The New York Times on Saturday (2/11). His inaugural season at BAM, 1967-68, “included Alban Berg’s atonal opera ‘Lulu’; performances by a number of modern-dance troupes…and the Living Theater’s evening of political protest, ‘Paradise Now.’ ” Under Lichtenstein, the vintage 1861 theater “gained a reputation as the place to find new and provocative work, be it dance, drama or music. And audiences grew.” Seeking a more intimate space close to BAM, he spearheaded renovation of the Majestic Theater, a 1904 venue that reopened as the BAM Majestic Theater and was eventually renamed the BAM Harvey Lichtenstein Theater. Born April 9, 1929, Lichtenstein graduated from Brooklyn College in his hometown, “became a dancer and performed with several modern-dance troupes,” and managed subscriptions for New York City Ballet and New York City Opera before becoming BAM’s president in 1967. Survivors include his sons Saul and John.

Posted February 14, 2017